Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, answers questions during a news conference at the Pentagon in March. (AFP/Getty Images)
Iraqi forces being trained to recapture Mosul will be ready next month, Joint Chiefs chairman says
Iraqi forces being trained by the U.S.-led coalition to recapture Mosul from Islamic State will be ready next month, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday.
“We assessed today the Iraqis will have in early October all the forces marshaled, trained, fielded and equipped that are necessary for operations in Mosul,” he said at the Air Force Assn. conference in National Harbor, Md.
Dunford said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi will make the decision on when to launch the attack. Abadi met with President Obama this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Iraqi forces backed by U.S. air power secured an airfield this summer in Qayyarah in western Iraq. The facility will serve as a logistics hub for the attack on Mosul, which is Islamic State’s self-declared capital in Iraq.
“We will be in position to provide whatever support, whatever reinforcement those forces need in order to be successful,” Dunford said.