NEW YORK - US President Barack Obama said on Monday his administration would ask Congress and other countries to "step up" aid for Iraq to help rebuild Mosul after an expected operation in the coming months to dislodge Islamic State militants from the city.
Speaking to reporters at the end of a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Obama said he hoped for progress by the end of the year on Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city which fell to the Islamic State group in June 2014.
"This is going to be a challenging battle. Mosul is a large city and ISIL has embedded itself deeply within that city," Obama said, referring to the militant group by an acronym.
Thanks to cooperation between the coalition and Iraqi security forces as well as cooperation from Kurdish Peshmerga forces, "we feel confident that we will be in a position to move forward fairly rapidly," he said.