Iraqi Forces Moving at Their Own Pace

Coalition forces are trying to speed up the Iraqi advance on the ISIS-held town of Mosul, including offering additional air support that has been rejected in previous offensives. The Iraqi advance on the city is moving at “the Iraqi pace,” a rate slower than the coalition conducts operations, said Col. Christopher Garver, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, during a March 4 briefing. The coalition has offered to deploy Apache gunships, provide faster training of Iraqi brigades, and other support, such as combat engineers, to help Iraq retake the city. Iraq is still planning its offensive, and the process is mirroring the December offensive in the city of Ramadi, where the move on the city followed a lengthy “isolation phase.” “There are times when we thought they were more ready than they [were] at the time,” Garver said about the coalition’s view on the Iraqi plan to take Ramadi. Garver said additional support from the coalition, such as air support and faster training, could help Iraqis take the city “this year.” (See also: Applying Lessons Learned in Ramadi.)