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Iraqi Troops Assemble Around Mosul to Prepare for Likely Assault on City

Islamic State
(Photo : Scott Bobb, Voice of America News/Wikimedia/CC) Iraqi troops are gathering around Mosul to prepare for a likely battle in October.

Hundreds of Iraqi Special Forces assembled near the ISIS-held Mosul in preparation for an anticipated confrontation with the militant group to uproot them from their stronghold city.

The Iraqi Army has deployed armoured vehicles and its special forces on the east of Mosul. The US has also sent 600 more American troops to the battle line, which increased the number of US soldiers in the region to about 5,000.

Media sources say that the city is expected to be attacked from three different directions. There has been an intense speculation in recent weeks that Mosul will be laid under siege in October.

In response, the ISIS has dug trenches around Mosul with oil in it, are holding sniper positions, and have dug a massive network of tunnels.

"You see a fighter go in one place and pop up in another," said Col John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led coalition. "The entrances are always exposed and those are a priority target."

A Reuters report said that Mosul is filled with booby traps, children have been recruited as spies, and militants have shaped their beards to mix in with civilian population in preparation of the US-led coalition attack.

"They are digging in to fight for Mosul. They are more cautious, shaving their beards to blend in with the population and constantly moving their headquarters around," said Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister.

The coalition has increased airstrikes on Mosul and its surrounding areas. Over the past two weeks, over 50 airstrikes had taken place in the region.

"We have been intensifying our efforts in and around Mosul," said Dorrian.

Ben Collins, a Green Beret veteran, told Fox News that he disagreed with an informal position taken by the US that American troops are not 'in combat' but only are providing advisory and assistance.

"We have lost American soldiers in the last year who were there in advise and assist capacity. And I can tell you that there is no special operator, no American special forces advisor that is willing to watch the men that he trains and eats with and becomes friends with gets pinned down in the battle, and doesn't move to support and doesn't come out of the safe area into combat. So this is going to be very difficult for us not to get pulled into that battle. And that is if everything is going all right."

He was also concerned about the city of Mosul which will turn into a battle field.

"From the combat perspective, the density of the city is what's most alarming. This is going to be a building-to-building, street-to-street fight.. This is going to be a bloody battle for the Iraqis."

Tags ISIS, Mosul, Iraqi Security Forces, US-led coalition, American Special Forces, Green Beret

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