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US retaking major Iraqi city

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BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi state television says Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the start of operations to liberate the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants.
State TV showed a brief written statement in the early hours Monday announcing the start of the widely anticipated military offensive to drive IS out of Iraq's second largest city.
The push to retake Mosul will be the biggest and most complex military operation in Iraq since American troops left in 2011 and, if successful, the strongest blow yet to the Islamic State.
Iraqi forces have been massing around the city in recent days.
Mosul is home to more than a million civilians. The city fell to IS fighters during a lightning charge in June 2014 that left nearly a third of Iraq in militants' hands and plunged the country into its most severe crisis since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

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