WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The campaign to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State terror group will not be easy and will require time, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing. At the same time, the campaign to free the Iraqi city of Mosul shows slow but steady progress, he said.
"We anticipate that this will be a long campaign and not one that is easily won," Earnest commented on the Raqqa operation on Monday.
"The progress there is slow, but it's steady," Earnest said of the Mosul offensive. "They [Iraqi forces] benefit from the advice and assistance of US and other coalition forces on the ground."
On Sunday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the launch of the operation Wrath of Euphrates to retake Raqqa from the entrenched Islamic State militants.
The Islamic State, which is also known as Daesh in Arabic and is outlawed in Russia, overran Mosul in 2014 and declared a caliphate in the captured territories.
The Iraqi prime minister announced a campaign on October 17 to reclaim the city with a mixed force of Iraqi army soldiers, Kurdish militias and Sunni Arab tribesmen advancing from south, east and north.