“Training of the Iraqi security forces and anti-ISIL forces includes a tailored approach based off of the needs of the unit and at the request of the government of Iraq and is informed by coalition advice,” he explained.
Local Tribal Forces
Critical to the Mosul liberation operation are the ISF local citizens who have been stringently vetted prior to training by the coalition. And it’s the local tribal forces that are key to the Mosul fight.
“[The fight] needs to be people from the area and of the area,” Anderson said.
Anderson noted that Mosul is likely a turning point in the war against ISIL. And liberating Mosul is linked to operations that apply pressure to retake the ISIL-held city of Raqqah, Syria, he said.
“Raqqah is under pressure, and we’re continuing to make a difference in terms of their logistics, vehicle-borne bomb factories and command-and-control nodes,” he said, adding, “that’s the way the coalition can keep the pressure on while we’re waiting for our [Iraqi] partners to develop their plan and to launch their attack at the time of their choosing.”
Anderson emphasized, “But it is the beginning of the end. And [ISIL] knows that. We’ve already seen signs of leaders abandoning their posts in Mosul, because they know what’s coming. They know that Mosul is going to fall.”
(Source: US Dept of Defense)