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America’s neglected asset in fight for Mosul

The Pentagon recently declared its 2015 plan to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State, an operation that may be effective only if the resistance groups already operating in Mosul are involved.
Volunteers from Mosul take part in military training as they prepare to fight against Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of Dohuk province January 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ari Jalal (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY CONFLICT) - RTR4MQXV
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In light of recently announced plans by the Pentagon to coordinate a spring offensive in Mosul, much of the discussion has thus far focused on the training and deployment of a myriad of Iraqi and Kurdish military battalions. There are only whispers about the potential involvement of resistance groups currently operating within the ostensible Iraqi headquarters of the Islamic State (IS).

Among such groups, the Free Officers Movement quietly assassinated two IS commanders in the city in February. However, Pentagon officials have largely ignored their existence. Ultimately, for any military plans to successfully forge a sustainable governance strategy, let alone a military success in Mosul, it is imperative that such local resistance groups be granted an active role in the operation.

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