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Air Strikes Intensify On Mosul Ahead Of Planned Offensive


A convoy of Iraqi security forces advances on the outskirts of Mosul on October 12.

A convoy of Iraqi security forces advances on the outskirts of Mosul on October 12.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency says a military operation aimed at retaking Iraq's northern city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) militants will begin within a few days "if there is no extraordinary development."

The report on October 14 cited Iraqi sources as well as officials who have taken part in talks between Turkey and the United States.

It said Sunni Muslim forces trained by the Turkish military at the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq will take part in the planned operation.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq confirmed on October 14 that it was increasing air strikes against IS targets in Mosul ahead of the planned operation to retake the city.

Correspondents also report the movement of Iraqi government forces and allied militas to the south and east of Mosul.

Iraqi Army Brigadier General Firas Bashar said that "all the troop movements now are related to the Mosul operation."

The Wall Street Journal reported on October 12 that Ankara's demands for its Sunni allies to take part in the offensive were threatening to fracture an uneasy alliance of Iraqi forces.

It said the pressure from Turkey had triggered "new demands from influential, rival Shi'ite militias" that are now rethinking their earlier agreement to play a more limited role in the fight for Mosul.

Based on reporting by Anadolu, The Wall Street Journal, and Reuters
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