October 18, 2016 / 12:00 PM / a year ago

French defense minister says battle for Mosul won't be 'blitzkrieg'

PARIS (Reuters) - The anti-Islamic State coalition’s battle to take Mosul in Iraq from the militant Islamist group will take time and “won’t be a Blitzkrieg,” French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday.

“This battle is crucial because it is the stronghold of Daesh,” he told reporters using an acronym for Islamic State. “Mosul is the stronghold of our enemy... but the battle will be long, it won’t be a Blitzkrieg, this is a town of a million-and-a-half inhabitants so it’s a long term affair, several weeks, perhaps months,” he said.

Reporting by John Irish and Marine Pennetier; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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