What Is Mosul?
Located along the banks of the Tigris River in northern Iraq's Nineveh Province, Mosul is Iraq's second largest city with a population of more than 2 million residents. The population represents a mix of the diverse ethnic groups in northern Iraq, though the majority are Sunni Arabs and Kurds. It is believed there are currently 1 million residents in the city.
Mosul is the main industrial city in northern Iraq and a vital transportation hub in the flow of goods to and from Turkey and Syria. It is also located near significant oil fields in northern Iraq and the major oil pipeline into Turkey.
ISIS surprisingly seized Mosul in June 2014 in a matter of days after the retreat of a large number of Iraqi security forces from the city. American officials have blamed that retreat on the Sunni Arab soldiers and police based in the city who abandoned their posts after growing disenchanted with the increasing sectarianism of the Shiite-led government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The city's capture left ISIS with large amounts of Iraqi military equipment and supplies that it quickly used to push toward the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, 250 miles to the south. ISIS also seized an estimated $500 million in cash taken from the Central Bank of Mosul that it has used to fund its military and terror operations.
Why Is It Important to Retake Mosul?
ISIS's seizure of Mosul was a blow to Iraq’s political stability and a propaganda coup for a terror group that wanted to demonstrate it was gaining territory to establish a new caliphate.
A successful offensive on Mosul will take away from ISIS its last strategic stronghold in Iraq and end the territorial dominance it commanded over large areas of northwestern Iraq for the past two years.
The group's control of territory there was made easier by the flow of ISIS fighters from its de facto capital of Raqqah in north central Syria. An ISIS defeat in Mosul would cut off that route and leave the terror group's military operations effectively contained to Syria.
Full Story Here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/iraqi-offensive-retake-mosul-important/story?id=40850305
A member of the Iraqi government forces stands on a military vehicle as smoke billows from oil wells, set ablaze by Islamic State (IS) group militants before fleeing the oil-producing region of Qayyarah,
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What Is Mosul?
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