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Military Campaign for Mosul 'Just the Beginning'


JERUSALEM, Israel – Iraqi and Kurdish forces are continuing their offensive against Mosul, captured by ISIS in the summer of 2014. But the military campaign is just the start of a much larger battle over control of Iraq's second largest city.

The sounds of battle surrounded Mosul as Iraqi and Kurdish forces launched their push into the city. Kurdish fighters have captured at least seven villages just outside Mosul. The Kurdish Peshmerga seems eager to help free the city.

"Today we're going to fight until we die," Peshmerga fighter Sarwat Faris said.

The enemy has clearly shown it's ready to die. One ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up after driving into an Iraqi tank.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces are receiving help from the 101 Airborne and U.S. airstrikes. U.S. commanders pledge a difficult, but successful, conflict.

"This may prove to be a long and tough battle, but the Iraqis have prepared for it and we will stand by them," said Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. "The Iraqi security forces and the coalition are not only fighting for the future of Iraq, we are fighting to ensure the security of all of our nations."

But the various forces trying to capture Mosul hold differing agendas. That wrinkle raises the question: Who will control Mosul when the battle is over?

"That's a good question. That is the question. What happens after the fall of Mosul?" retired U.S. Col. Richard Naab told CBN News.

Naab said the military campaign is just the beginning.

"The critical part is afterwards," he explained. "You can take the city of Mosul militarily. That's the easier piece in my view. It's the political solutions afterwards that need to be meaningful."

While the future of Mosul remains unclear, the ISIS dream of a caliphate is crumbling. Their recent loss of the symbolic town of Dabiq means ISIS needs a new storyline.

According to Islamic prophecy, Dabiq was to be the site of an end time battle.

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