>> The battle to retake Mosul is on. Iraqi forces beginning their assault on the Islamic State held city. The troops, a coordination of Iraqi regulars, Kurdish Peshmerga militia and Sunni tribal fighters. Reuters senior correspondent, Ahmed Rashid, in Baghdad, says about 30,000 are taking part.>> The Iraqi security and army officials, this describes Monday's advance as the first phase of a major campaign to retake Mosul.
The advance of the Peshmerga, government forces, started to regain control over villages in the eastern and southeastern part of Mosul. Setting more pressure over the militant.>> Few expect the battle to be easy. I estimate to have between four and 8,000 fighters in the city. It may also be using civilians as a human shield.
And the stakes couldn't be higher. Most listed jihadist defucto capital in Iraq, it's where the so-called caliphate was declared.>> The issue of whether Islamic State is gonna still have activities inside Iraq, even if it was defeated in Mosul. The issue of the sleeper cells and the ability to still conduct suicide attacks in the capital and other cities of Iraq will still a worry for the Iraqi government.
>> But concerned too, about what happens after the city is liberated. The local Sunni population worry about reprisals by Shiite groups. PM Abadi now trying to ease those fears. He says, only the Iraqi army and police will enter Mosul. Shia militia will be confined to the outskirts, even so, winning the piece may prove as hard as winning the battle.