Friday on MSNBC’s “The Rundown With José Díaz-Balart,” while discussing the Obama administrations unusual move of announcing a planned military assault on the Iraq city of Mosul, NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel said there are “enormous questions” about the possibly of the decimated Shiite Iraqi army successfully taking ISIS on in Mosul with an unwilling Sunni Arab majority living there.
Engel said, “The U.S. has been, the administration has been, and the military have been slowly rolling out this idea with selective leaks to probably get the public accustomed to this idea that there might be some ground forces involved in battle, not just sitting on their bases as advisers but sitting in jeeps, in front line potentially with their rifles out, doing shooting and engaging the enemy.”
He continued, “You asked, also, a very good question. Why is the U.S. broadcasting this right now? You’re effectively telling ISIS that there’s a plan in place to come to Mosul and to dislodge it. There are strategic questions about why you would want to do that. I think the U.S. Is trying to show some progress in this fight against ISIS, but there are many questions. Is the iraqi army ready? Does it have 20,000 troops that are combat-ready right now? Many people think they do not. The Kurdish forces who are key to this plan don’t get along with the Iraqi forces. The people of Mosul don’t want the Shiite led and mostly Shiite army to come into their city. Sounds good, but there are enormous questions.”
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