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In battle for Mosul, many forces driven by dozens of motives

By Associated Press in Baghdad | China Daily | Updated: 2016-09-26 08:20

An unlikely array of forces is converging on the city of Mosul, lining up for a battle on the historic plains of northern Iraq that is likely to be decisive in the war against the Islamic State group.

The usual alliance - Iraqi troops alongside Shiite militiamen, Kurdish fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and US Special Forces - underscores the importance of this battle. Retaking Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, would effectively break the back of the militant group, ending their self-declared "caliphate," at least in Iraq.

But victory doesn't mean an end to the conflict. In a post-Islamic State Iraq, the rivalries among the players in the anti-IS coalition could easily erupt.

In battle for Mosul, many forces driven by dozens of motives

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