First published: December 28, 2016, 9:09 AM IST | Updated: 27 mins ago
A member loyal to the Islamic State waves an ISIS flag. (Representative image/Reuters)
Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Haide al-Abadi said the Iraqi forces will need three months to eliminate the Islamic State (IS) militant group, as battles continued to free the IS stronghold in the city of Mosul.
“In Iraq, I believe that conditions indicate that it needs three months to eliminate Daesh (IS group),” Abadi said in a press conference in Baghdad on Tuesday.
Abadi’s comment came in response to the US general commanding coalition forces in Iraq who predicted in an interview that two years of battles to clear IS group from its twin capitals of Mosul and Raqqa, Xinhua news agency reported.
Abadi also said the Iraqi forces are fighting what he named “war of attrition” against the IS extremist group, asserting that the security forces have destroyed 900 car bombs in Mosul during the past two months.
According to official Iraqi statements, after nearly two months of street-to-street battles against IS militants inside Mosul, the elite army forces re-took control of 40 districts, while the army recaptured six more neighbourhoods.
On October 17, Abadi announced a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country’s second largest city.
Since then, the Iraqi security forces, backed by international coalition forces, have inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul and made progress on other routes around the city.