Mosul Offensive Will Start When the Moment Is Right, Kerry Says

(Bloomberg) -- Plans to retake Iraq’s second-largest city from Islamic State fighters may not be ready to begin this spring as some U.S. military officials have forecast, Secretary of State John Kerry says.

* Kerry dismissed estimate from U.S. Central Command official

that offensive to reclaim Mosul could begin as early as

April. * “That has been contradicted and I think walked back”:

Kerry * “I’m not going to get into timetables. It will happen”:

Kerry * NOTE: Official from Central Command told reporters Feb 19

that U.S., Iraq planning April or May offensive that would

require 20,000 to 25,000 Iraqi troops to defeat 1,000 to

2,000 Islamic State fighters * NOTE: Central Command oversees U.S. military operations in

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To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at +1-202-654-4341 or To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Snyder at +1-202-624-1831 or Joe Sabo

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