See All The Unbelievable Photos And Videos As Iraqi Forces Destroy ISIS In Operation To Recapture Mosul
The long-awaited operation to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State is underway. On Monday, Iraqi forces began their mission to liberate the country’s second largest city. More than 25,000 troops, including paramilitary forces made up of Sunni tribal fighters and Shiite militias, will take part in the offensive. This is the biggest military operation since the departure of the U.S. from the country in 2011.
The Iraqi government surrendered Mosul to ISIS forces in June 2014, and the Iraqi army fled without a fight.
The Islamic State coveted Mosul because of its critical location on the banks of the Tigris River, making it a vital transportation hub between Syria and Iraq. To the north of the city, there are large oil fields and a key oil pipeline into Turkey.
Tens of thousands of leaflets have been dropped on Mosul by the Iraqi government to warn residents about the upcoming assault.
The Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi officially announced the start of Mosul military operation on Monday. “These forces that are liberating you today, they have one goal in Mosul which is to get rid of Daesh and to secure your dignity. They are there for your sake,” he said in an address to his country.
Then it began.