Iraqi and Kurdish commanders said Tuesday that they have paused their advance on Mosul a day after the start of a massive operation to retake the Islamic State-held city, which is expected to take weeks, if not months. The front lines to the east of Mosul were largely quiet, a day after Iraqi Kurdish forces advanced amid a barrage of U.S.-led airstrikes and heavy artillery. "We have achieved our objectives," said Col. Khathar Sheikhan, of the Kurdish forces. An Iraqi special forces commander said his troops have delayed an advance following a request from Kurdish forces for more time to achieve their goals. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts. Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil said his men had planned to move at dawn, but postponed the operation. He said Iraqi army and Kurdish commanders would meet later on Tuesday.
There's no pause in efforts to liberate Mosul. Some commanders have reached their objectives ahead of schedule after encountering light-to-moderate resistance.Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition
Armed forces closing in on Mosul said on Tuesday that they had secured 20 villages on the outskirts of the city in the first 24 hours of an operation to retake what is the Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq. With air support from a U.S.-led coalition, government and Kurdish forces edged closer to the city as smoke darkened the blue sky above one ISIS position, apparently from oil fires ignited to hamper the incursion and make it harder to land airstrikes.