MOSUL, Iraq (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi army will remain in control of security in Mosul until local police forces are ready, a military spokesperson said on Monday.
Brigadier-General Yahya Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi army’s joint operations command, said troops will not leave Mosul yet.
“There are no plans to withdraw military units from newly recaptured Mosul,” Rasool noted. “It’s too early for that.”
He mentioned plans were underway to prepare a local police force which would oversee the security of the city.
Rasool added the Iraqi army is currently counting on the Nineveh Police Command, who battled IS during the offensive to liberate Mosul, to enforce liberated parts of the city.
“We’re partially relying on the Nineveh Police Command, which fought alongside the military, to secure liberated parts of the city,” the spokesman explained.
Regarding the training of local security forces, Rasool said the units must be ready to “maintain order in liberated areas” and “must bolster their security capabilities.”
Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory in Mosul after nearly 10 months of heavy clashes with IS militants.
Meanwhile, the extremist group’s leadership warned its fighters of an “imminent assault” on Tal Afar, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Mosul.
Sources close to the city said IS was building trenches “to de-escalate military advances” by the Iraqi army.
According to security officials, nearly 40,000 soldiers are involved in the offensive to free the city from IS control.
The US-led coalition confirmed it would continue to support Iraqi forces with air strikes as they advance in the city.
Editing by Ava Homa