"Element of surprise. One of the reasons they wanted Mosul, they wanted to get Daesh leaders who they thought were, you know, in Mosul. Those people have all left. As soon as they heard they’re going to be attacked, they left. The resistance is much greater now because they knew about the attack. Why can’t they win first and talk later?" Trump told ABC in an interview published on the channel's website on Wednesday.
"I’ve been hearing about Mosul now for three months. ‘We’re going to attack. We’re going to attack.’ Meaning Iraq’s going to attack but with us. OK? We’re going to attack. Why do they have to talk about it?" Trump said.
On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of the operation to retake Mosul from the Daesh, which is outlawed in many countries worldwide, including the United States and Russia. The offensive is backed by airstrikes by the US-led international coalition.