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Tipping our hand? US official lays out plan to retake Mosul

A U.S. military official on Thursday outlined plans to retake the vital Iraq city of Mosul from Islamic State terrorists as early as April — an unusual move that swiftly drew criticism that the Pentagon was revealing too much information to the enemy.

A senior U.S. Central Command official said the “shaping” for the battle is currently underway, and the Iraqi military hopes to begin operations in the “April, May timeframe.” The goal is to retake the city before Ramadan begins on June 17.

The official said five Iraqi Army brigades will be used in the fight, as well as several smaller brigades, composing a total force of up to 25,000 Iraqi troops. Three brigades of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters will participate as well.

But the details, disclosed at the close of a White House summit on combating violent extremism, raised some concerns.

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