Iraqi federal police forces – backed by U.S. air support – entered Mosul International Airport and took control of the runway from the Islamic State, an official said Thursday. Thursday’s advance is part of a major assault that started five days ago to drive ISIS militants from the western half of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
An eerie feel is emerging from Iraq about how the government forces perceive the continuing battle to retake Mosul, which enters its fourth week today. More than two years after the American-led campaign against ISIL began, one expects that the ground forces battling the group now have a realistic grip of its capabilities. But that does not seem to be the case in the battle of Mosul. And there is a lesson to be learnt as the United States opens a new front in Raqqa.