Town near Mosul fights against militants before troops arrive
Iraqi troops marching toward Mosul moved into the northern Iraqi town of al-Hud on Wednesday, finding mutilated bodies of Islamic State group fighters still strewn on the ground. Residents had already risen up and killed many of the militants themselves.
With the offensive to recapture Mosul in its third day, Iraqi forces advancing from the south and east are fighting to retake the towns and villages that dot the plains and line the Tigris River leading to the city. At times, they’ve met fierce resistance.
The fight for Mosul, launched this week by Iraqi security forces supported by U.S. air power and advisers, could take months and is likely to feature periods of fierce combat, according to Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command.
Votel noted that the extremist group has had more than two years to prepare its defenses.