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US: Mosul talk helps civilians, encourages defectors

BAGHDAD (AP) — The spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition helping the Iraqi military on Monday defended recent pronouncements that the operation to retake Mosul is imminent, saying the advanced warning gives civilians hope they will soon be liberated and encourages defections of extremist fighters. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has criticized the openness about future battle plans, most recently in Sunday's debate, claiming it has allowed leaders of the Islamic State group to flee.
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