Mosul offensive to start soon, says French defense minister
- Record-setting rally pushes on as S&P ends week up 3 percent
- Trump's Cohn Pick Most Bullish Sign Yet for Banks - Cowen
- Unusual 11 Mid-Day Movers: (IDXG) (INVN) (EBS) Higher; (SCON) (DTEA) (DLTH) Lower (more...)
- 21st Century Fox (FOXA) offers to acquire Sky for GBP10.75/share
- Coca Cola (KO) Announces James Quincey to Succeed Muhtar Kent as CEO; Kent to Continue as Chairman
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives to attend a defence council at the Elysee Palace in Paris, July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Get inside Wall Street with StreetInsider Premium. Claim your 2-week free trial here.
CONCARNEAU, France (Reuters) - An Iraqi government-led offensive to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State will start soon, France's defense minister said on Friday after French warplanes took off from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to strike the militant group.
The United States on Thursday increased the number of troops it has in Iraq to more than 5,000 as part of a U.S.-led coalition providing air support, training and advice to the Iraqi military, which collapsed in 2014 in the face of Islamic State's territorial gains and advance towards Baghdad.
Iraqi forces, including Kurdish peshmerga forces and mostly Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias, have retaken around half of that territory over the past two years. Mosul, the largest city under the hardline group's control anywhere across its self-proclaimed caliphate, is likely to be the biggest battle yet.
"The battle for Mosul has not started yet. (The operations today) are the extension of our support for the coalition," Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters at a naval shipyard in northwestern France. "There will soon be the main attack."
The carrier, which arrived in the eastern Mediterranean this week, holds about 1,900 personnel and is accompanied by an attack submarine, several frigates and refueling ships as well as fighter jets and surveillance aircraft.
Eight war planes took off for a mission over Iraq earlier on Friday, according to the defense ministry.
France, the first country to join U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq, has stepped up aerial operations against Islamic State, including in Syria, after several attacks by the group in France.
Paris also has special forces operating in both countries and has provided weapons to Syrian rebel groups, peshmerga and Iraqi forces.
(Reporting By Pierre-Henri Allain; writing by John Irish)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Turkey seeks to arrest 55 people suspected of financing Gulen - NTV
- U.S. slated to sell $375 million of emergency reserve oil this winter
- Taiwan says China air force conducts long-range drills
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!