CAIRO (Sputnik) — On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of the military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh. According to local media, about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are taking part in the operation, backed by airstrikes carried out by the US-led coalition.
"The speed at which the Iraqi forces are moving forward exceeds the expectations of the commanders," Saad Hadithi told RIA Novosti.
"Long before the beginning of the operation, the government took military and humanitarian measures so that the civilians would not suffer in the military operation in Mosul," Hadithi said.
He added that the government has worked out a plan of action to protect civilians and their property.