Iraqi PM: Mosul Offensive Going Faster Than Expected

PARIS (Reuters) -
Smoke rises at Islamic State militants' positions in the town of Naweran near Mosul, Iraq October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Smoke rises at Islamic State terrorists’ positions in the town of Naweran near Mosul, Iraq, Thursday. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday the offensive against the Islamic State terror group in Mosul was progressing more quickly than originally planned.

“The forces are pushing towards the town more quickly than we thought and more quickly than we had programmed in our campaign plan,” Abadi told senior officials in Paris via a video conference call.

French President Francois Hollande, who was opening a meeting in Paris to discuss the future of Mosul, said that there was evidence that Islamic State terrorists were already fleeing to its Syrian bastion of Raqqa, and that everything needed to be done to stop them regrouping there.