Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Colonel John Dorrian stated that there are 4,460 US troops in Iraq, compared to 4,000 a week ago, and that Iraqi security forces are preparing to reclaim Mosul. Dorrian did not specify what the US troops would be doing, but mentioned that they were setting up a logistics hub at the recaptured Qayyarah airbase to the south of Mosul, which will serve as a staging area for Iraqi forces.
Dorrian stated that Iraqi forces would determine the time of the assault. General Joe Votel, the head of the US military's Central Command, last week suggested that Mosul could be reclaimed by the end of the year.
Saad al-Hadithi, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, "The date will not be announced before the start of the operation for security reasons. There is no determined date for launching the Mosul operation." Further territorial advances on Daesh positions were slowed as supporting forces, including police and allied militants, appeared to require additional training.
The battle is anticipted to be especially challenging as the one million citizens in the city are feared to be in danger of being used as human shields. Iraqi warplanes dropped some one million leaflets over as-Sherqat asking civilians to stay indoors and not get close to Daesh sites, said a Kurdish official, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.