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What is stopping the liberation of Mosul?

The liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State will be a complicated task for the Iraqi forces, as several players will be involved in the operation.
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Ongoing preparations are taking place for the coming battle of Mosul, which appears to be getting closer, military sources say. Iraqi forces will face a difficult and costly battle and many obstacles before they can take over the western bastion of the Islamic State (IS).

In a speech praising the army's victory in Ramadi against IS, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Dec. 28, "We are coming to liberate Mosul, and it will be the fatal and final blow to [IS].”

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