A diverse coalition of Iraqi forces launched a long-awaited offensive against Islamic State in Mosul, one of the last major cities still controlled by the militant group.
In a nationally televised announcement early Monday, Iraq time, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the push to take back Iraq’s second-largest city.
Reclaiming Mosul is seen as essential to the broader battle against Islamic State. The group has suffered a string of losses lately in its self-declared caliphate, including on Sunday, when Syrian rebels backed by Turkey and the U.S. drove the militants from the Syrian town of Dabiq.
“The hour of victory has sounded and the Mosul liberation operation has started,” Mr. Abadi said while surrounded by senior Iraqi commanders. “We urge you, the heroic people of Mosul, to cooperate with our security forces to rescue you.”
Iraqi troops advanced on the Bartalaa area at Mosul’s outskirts hours after the offensive was launched, the military said.
This article continues at [Wall Street Journal] Iraq Forces Begin Battle to Dislodge ISIS From Mosul