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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday said although it would be "a difficult fight," he was confident that Iraqi forces leading the military operations against Islamic State would defeat the militant group.
"The start of Iraqi operations to liberate Mosul is another major step forward," Obama said, speaking at a White House news conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "ISIL will be defeated in Mosul," he added, using an acronym for Islamic State.
Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe, Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu