The operation to liberate Mosul from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters has started with airstrikes targeting the militants, a year after they seized the northern Iraqi city, Al Arabiya News Channel reported a military officer as saying on Friday.
Head of Ninawa Operations Command Gen. Najim al-Jubouri also said on Thursday that military units and been deployed in Baiji, located on the main road to Mosul, to start liberating the northern city from ISIS.
However, Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent in Erbil said Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi should be the one announcing the start of the operation as he is also the commander-in-chief under the Iraqi constitution.
The Iraqi forces, alongside Shiite volunteers known as Popular Mobilization units, liberated late President Saddam Hussein’s hometown, Tikrit.
Abadi’s government was dealt a major blow when ISIS captured Ramadi, the capital city of the western province of Anbar, in May.
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