US ready to support Iraq in 'difficult fight ahead' for Mosul

WASHINGTON - The United States and the rest of the US-led international coalition stand ready to support Iraq "in the difficult fight ahead," US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Sunday as Baghdad announced its offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State.
"This is a decisive moment in the campaign to deliver ISIL a lasting defeat," Carter said in a statement, using an acronym for Islamic State.
"We are confident our Iraqi partners will prevail against our common enemy and free Mosul and the rest of Iraq from ISIL's hatred and brutality."