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Obama expects progress in fight to retake Mosul

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President Obama told CBS News on Monday that he expects to make progress by the end of the year in the fight to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“My expectation is that by the end of the year, we will have created the conditions whereby Mosul will eventually fall,” Obama said in an interview with CBS News’s Charlie Rose.

{mosads}”As we see the Iraqis willing to fight and gaining ground, we must make sure that we are providing them more support.”

“We’re not doing the fighting ourselves,” the president continued, “but when we provide training, when we provide special forces who are backing them up, when we are gaining intelligence — working with the coalitions that we have — what we’ve seen is that we can continually tighten the noose,” the president said.
 
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday that Iraqis will lead the fight against ISIS even as U.S. troops move closer to the front lines.
 
“Iraqis are still in the lead,” he said in an interview on “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” set to air Monday night. “That doesn’t change.”
 
Pentagon officials announced earlier Monday that 200 more U.S. troops are being sent to the country to support Iraqi forces in their fight to retake Mosul from ISIS. Teams of U.S. troops can also now embed with Iraqi brigades and battalions to offer advice and assistance.
 
“It’s very important to do this because we have to and we will defeat ISIL,” Ash said, using an alternate acronym for the group. “We need to get that done as soon as possible and that means being more aggressive in the moves we make.”
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