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    An Iraqi forces member flashes his gun as he waves his national flag in the village of Arabat, south of Mosul, as temperatures continue to drop, on December 1, 2016

    Daesh Will Be Cast Out of Iraq in 3 Months - Iraqi PM

    © AFP 2019 / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has claimed that it will take just three more months to push the jihadist group Daesh out of Iraq. It comes as al-Abadi has accepted he has failed to meet an earlier set deadline, while also calling the US "pessimistic" about the fight against terror in Iraq.

    So far, Iraqi forces say they have seized only a quarter of eastern Mosul. Iraq's second largest city has long been strategically critical to the rulers of Iraq. 

    Daesh militants overran it in June 2014, ousting the Iraqi army in a humiliating defeat. 

    Iraq's official government and it's key international ally, the US, have repeatedly vowed to re-take the city, but to no avail.

    Prime Minister al-Abadi previously set a deadline of the upcoming New Year. However, despite a coalition of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Shia paramilitary forces, Sunni tribesmen and US-led airstrikes, al-Abadi has since conceded that his deadline will come and go, with Mosul continuing to be under the sway of the terrorist Daesh fighters.

    Smoke rises during clashes between Peshmerga forces and Islamic State militants in the town of Bashiqa, east of Mosul, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, November 7, 2016
    © REUTERS / Azad Lashkari
    Smoke rises during clashes between Peshmerga forces and Islamic State militants in the town of Bashiqa, east of Mosul, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, November 7, 2016

    However, the offensive continues.

    Iraqi TV quoted al-Abadi on Tuesday 27 December, following a government meeting in Baghdad:

    "Conditions indicate that Iraq needs three months to eliminate Daesh."

    The campaign saw some advancement on Monday 26 December with Mosul's bridge over the historic Tigris River, being hit by a US-led air strike.

    ​Despite their air power, the US has repeatedly denied that US forces are going to take on a ground combat role in Mosul.

    US Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said in an interview published on Monday 26 December, that the US estimates it will take two years to fully eradicate Daesh forces from Iraq and Syria.

    Iraq's leader rejected this assessment.

    In response, al-Abadi accused his Western allies of being "very pessimistic", reiterating that Iraqi forces are capable of success much faster than the US predicts.

    "The Americans were very pessimistic. They used to talk about a really long period, but the remarkable successes achieved by our brave and heroic fighters reduced that. I foresee that in Iraq it will take three months," Mr. al-Abadi insisted.

    A woman who fled from Mosul carries her five-month-old daughter Ritadj, who was born under Islamic State rule and has no identity documents recognised by Iraqi authorities, in Debaga refugee camp, Iraq November 10, 2016
    © REUTERS / Zohra Bensemra
    A woman who fled from Mosul carries her five-month-old daughter Ritadj, who was born under Islamic State rule and has no identity documents recognised by Iraqi authorities, in Debaga refugee camp, Iraq November 10, 2016

    In Washington, the Obama administration has been cautious over getting further entangled in the Middle-East. Their air support has already been linked to accusations of excessive civilian deaths in Iraq.

    ​Indeed, the relentless attempts to drive Daesh out of Iraqi territory has left many displaced.

    ​It is estimated that there are still 1.5 million civilians left trapped inside Mosul. The recent destruction of Mosul's last remaining bridge will hamper not only the movement of Daesh militants, but also that of refugees trying to flee.

    Related:

    Iraqi Forces Liberate 40 of 56 Mosul Districts From Daesh - Foreign Minister
    US Commander: Two More Years to Clear Daesh from Mosul, Raqqa
    Over 116,000 Iraqis Currently Displaced Due to Operation to Liberate Mosul
    Dozens Killed in Two Car Bomb Blasts in Iraq’s Mosul Suburbs
    Tags:
    liberated neighborhood, US-led coalition, civilian casualties, conflict, war, airstrike, Iraq War, Daesh, US Armed Forces, Haider al-Abadi, Iraq, Mosul, Middle East
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