When coalition training shifted from counterinsurgency to a combined arms maneuver approach, the Iraqis learned how to integrate infantry, armor, artillery, engineers, aviation and other combat multipliers to achieve an overwhelming advantage on the battlefield, he said.
“Each day, the government of Iraq is closer to accomplishing its goal of liberating Iraqis” from ISIL’s hold, Anderson said. “The coalition will continue to support the Iraqi government and Iraqi forces to execute their plan to liberate Mosul at the time of their choosing.”
Concurrent with the operations to liberate Mosul, Anderson said his team will continue to assist the Iraqis in developing necessary forces and training to ensure the ISF’s long-term security and success in its war on ISIL.
ISIL Fight Not Over After Mosul
“But the fall of Mosul does not mean that [ISIL] is defeated by any stretch of the imagination,” the general said. It means the organization’s defeat in Mosul will be one in its existing format, he said, adding that ISIL’s capacity to conduct conventional operations has been defeated, but not the terrorist group, itself.
Anderson said it’s expected ISIL will dissipate into urban terrain and into the population, and that the Iraqis are going to fight insurgency and counterterrorism operations “for a while.”
To date, the U.S.-led coalition has trained 45,000 Iraqi security forces, he said, equaling some 12 trained brigades, which he said includes anywhere from 800 to 1,600 troops with a varied period of instruction, depending on the type of capability that the brigade needs.