Iraqi PM: Mosul Operation Going Faster than Expected
Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, says the operation to retake Mosul from Islamic State is going much faster than expected.
He spoke in Paris where foreign ministers from Western and Middle Eastern nations have been meeting to discuss how to restore peace and stability once the Islamic State group is ousted from Mosul.
The Pentagon announced that a U.S. service member was killed in a blast northern Iraq but it was unclear if the incident was linked to the Mosul operation
On Wednesday, the U.S. general running the coalition ground campaign in Iraq urged Iraqi forces fighting for Mosul not to "go so fast that they start to give opportunity to the enemy."
US Received No Formal Notice from Philippines
American officials say they have gotten no formal notice from Manila following Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement of a "separation" from the United States.
"We have not received any official requests from Filipino officials to alter any of our many issues where we bilaterally cooperate," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters.
"It is inexplicably at odds with the very close relationship that we have with the Filipino people, as well as the government there on many different levels, not just from a security perspective," said State Department spokesman John Kirby. "We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from the U.S."
The State Department said Assistant Secretary Daniel Russel would visit Manila from Saturday through Tuesday. Kirby called the trip a a "long-scheduled, long-planned" visit.
Following high-level talks with Chinese leaders in Beijing, the Philippine leader announced a military and economic separation from the United States.