Analysis Why the Battle for Mosul Is So Critical to All Sides

How the fight for the city plays out will make Islamic State decide whether to persist with its current strategy or scatter its forces across the Middle East and operate like Al-Qaida.

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The battle for western Mosul is intended not only to liberate the city from the clutches of the Islamic State group, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared recently. It is also the battle that could be...