21:55 GMT24 February 2021
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    The Iraqi government is unlikely to demand the US military to leave the country after liberation of Mosul, Lieut. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task said, giving no timeline though.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "I don't anticipate that we'll be asked to leave by the government of Iraq immediately after Mosul. I think that the government of Iraq realizes this is a very complex fight and they're gonna need the assistance of the coalition even beyond Mosul," Townsend said Monday, according to the news transcript published on Monday on the US Department of Defense website.

    Townsend pointed out that the military forces were operating closer and deeper into the Iraqi formation.

    "[W]e adjusted our posture during the east Mosul fight and we embedded advisers a bit further down into the formation," he added.

    On Monday, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi and Defense Minister Arfan Hayali to discuss US-Iraqi cooperation, progress in operation to liberate Mosul from Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist group.

    On Sunday, Abadi announced the beginning of operations to liberate the western part of Mosul. The eastern part of the city was liberated by the troops of Baghdad and US-led anti-terror coalition in January, while the rest of the city has been still occupied by terrorists.


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    Mosul, Iraq, US
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