Gen­eral: Mo­sul bat­tle is hard, but Raqqa will be harder

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Iraq’s bat­tle to re­claim Mo­sul from the Is­lamic State group is pro­gress­ing de­spite “stiff” re­sis­tance from re­silient and cre­ative fight­ers, but a com­ing of­fen­sive to oust them from their main Syria strong­hold at Raqqa poses tougher po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges and could take longer, the U.S. com­man­der of anti-IS coali­tion forces said Wed­nes­day.

Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend also said American in­tel­li­gence has de­tected in­dis­tinct signs of Is­lamic State plot­ting against the West from Raqqa, adding ur­gency to coali­tion plans to en­cir­cle and even­tu­ally as­sault the city.

“We know they’re up to some­thing, and it’s an ex­ter­nal plot,” the gen­eral told re­porters at the Pen­tagon, speak­ing from his head­quar­ters in Bagh­dad. “We don’t know ex­actly where” they in­tend to strike, he added. “We don’t know ex­actly when.”

“We know this plot-and-plan­ning is em­a­nat­ing from Raqqa.”

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