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Islamic State Mounting ‘Fierce,’ ‘Creative’ Defense of Mosul

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Nearly two months into the assault on the Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq, the unbridled optimism that accompanied the initial, rapid advance is gone. Iraqi security forces, which had cut through IS defenses in the outer suburbs of the northern city of Mosul, have met with stiffer than expected resistance in the city’s east.  Their losses have been significant and, to both Iraqi and U.S. officials, surprising. “They front-loaded the fight,” a U.S. official told VOA,...

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