The Prime Minister of the Iraqi government Haider Al-Abadi yesterday held talks with the US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter who arrived in the Iraqi capital yesterday. They discussed the progress of military operations against ISIS in Mosul and the latest developments in the city during the talks.
A statement that was issued by the Iraqi government’s media office after the meeting finished said that Al-Abadi held a meeting with Carter and his accompanying delegation during which they discussed “the progress of operations in Mosul and the victories achieved by the Iraqi forces in battle, the restoration of stability to liberated areas and training and equipping Iraqi forces”. Al-Abadi said that “the battle to liberate Mosul is running smoothly on all axes” and said that “our forces are committed to protecting civilians, and the military victory against ISIS gangs is near”.
For his part, Carter praised what he described as “the victories achieved in Mosul” and the “professionalism of the Iraqi forces including the army, the police and Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi”. He also lauded their “great courage and commitment in the battle”. Carter said that his country and the international community continue to support Iraq in its war against terrorism.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that an Iraqi military commander was wounded and one of his bodyguards killed when Islamic State militants fired mortar shells at his convoy south of Mosul on Sunday. Officers from the local military command told Reuters that a convoy carrying the head of operations in Salahuddin province Lieutenant-General Jumaa Inad came under attack near the town of Shirqat where Iraqi forces are fighting to retake an ISIS held enclave.