US will not move faster than Iraqi troops to recapture Mosul

WASHINTON – The U.S. will not go any faster than the Iraqi military on ground operations to recapture Mosul, American officials said Tuesday.

"We're not going to go any faster than the Iraqis are ready to go,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

"We've got four training sites that are up and running right now. And we believe so far that the training is going quite well," Kirby said, noting that the U.S. is preparing to help to retake ISIL-controlled cities.

John Allen, coordinator of a U.S.-led international coalition against ISIL, said Monday that a ground attack on ISIL targets would begin "soon.”

"US-led coalition will provide major firepower” Allen said, “when the Iraqi forces begin the ground campaign to take back Iraq."

Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said "these are efforts that would certainly be led by the Iraqi security forces." 

Last year, ISIL overran vast territories in Iraq and Syria, prompting the U.S. to form an international coalition to fight the terror group.

In recent months, the coalition has launched numerous aerial strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria.

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