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Iraqi commander predicts Islamic State withdrawal to western Mosul, says operation is going quickly

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BARTELLA, Iraq, Nov 3 (Reuters) – The commander of the Iraqi special forces who are spearheading the offensive to recapture the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul said on Thursday that they had gained a foothold in the city quicker than expected.

Lieutenant-General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi also raised the possibility that if his elite troops made further progress they might try to sweep through the eastern half of Mosul all the way to the River Tigris, bypassing some districts.

“If I want to speed up the operation, we may not take some areas and instead isolate them to prevent movement. That would reduce the time needed to reach the right bank,” he told Reuters at a command post east of Mosul.

He predicted that Islamic State fighters would withdraw to the group’s stronghold on the western bank of the River Tigris. – READ MORE

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