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'Last battle' against Isis in Iraq: forces mass for Mosul assault

Attack on group’s last urban stronghold in Iraq is most critical challenge yet to its ‘caliphate’ which led to exodus of refugees Iraqi and Kurdish forces are finalising plans to attack the last urban stronghold of Islamic State in Iraq, the northern city of Mosul, which after a month-long buildup is now largely surrounded by a 60,000-strong force. The assault could begin as early as this weekend and is the most critical challenge yet to Isis’s two-year-old “caliphate”, which had shredded state authority in the region’s heartland, led to a mass exodus of refugees, attempted a genocide of minorities and led to grave doubts over Iraq’s viability.
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