Mission to retake Mosul planned
The operation to retake Iraq's second largest city from Islamic State militants is likely to begin in April or May, a senior US military official has said.
It will involve about 12 Iraqi brigades, or between 20,000 and 25,000 troops, the official from US Central Command said. Five Iraqi army brigades will go through coalition training in Iraq.
The official said there are about 1,000 to 2,000 Islamic State insurgents in the city of Mosul. The group overtook the northern Iraqi city last June. Military leaders have been talking about retaking the city for some time.
If Iraqi forces are not ready by April or May, the operation could be delayed, the official said.