VIDEO: Iraq’s CTS Commander Says Retaking Mosul Might Take 3 Months
Alalam - Iraq
Talking to the Associated Press in Irbil on Tuesday, Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati said it was very difficult to give accurate time-estimates in this kind of warfare.
The CTS has been leading the charge into Mosul but has faced determined fighting from ISIS group militants.
Shaghati said the responsibility to fight inside Mosul fell on his forces, rather than on regular army units, because it was only the CTS that was trained and equipped to fight guerrillas in an urban environment.
Most regular forces have been operating outside the city, but last month a federal police division was moved into Mosul to help the CTS.
Shaghati said the ISIS group might still pose a threat after Mosul was liberated, but only in isolated pockets around the country.
"It will not pose a threat but there will be small terrorist groups in various places. We still have them in certain parts of Anbar (province) like al-Qaim, Rawa and Anah.
And these are small areas because terrorist movements are small-scale and fast-moving, they cannot be compared to regular forces,” Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati, head of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service said.
Mosul and much of the plains of northern Iraq have been under ISIS group control since the middle of 2014. Iraqi and Kurdish forces launched a massive operation to retake these areas last October.