Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, backed by US-led coalition launched coordinated military operations early on Monday as the long-awaited fight to wrest the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State fighters got underway. Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operations on state television, launching the country on its toughest battle since American troops left the country nearly five years ago.
The push to retake Mosul will be the biggest military operation in Iraq since American troops left in 2011 and, if successful, the strongest blow yet to the Islamic State. With the support of Iran and a US-led coalition, Iraqi forces have since regained much of the ground lost to IS and Mosul is the extremist group’s last major stronghold in Iraq.
The broadcast of the operations is being streamed on Youtube page. You can catch the live stream and updates on the operation here:
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Watch LIVE | Operation to seize Iraqi city of Mosul gets underway
While US is supporting the operations in Iraq, the United Nations have expressed their concern for the the extent of possible collateral damage in the battle. US officials acknowledge gaps and risks in the plan for Mosul, amid worries that defeat of Islamic State in its de facto Iraqi capital could give way to sectarian score-settling and land grabs in the country’s ethnically mixed north.