New U.S. defense chief silent on date of Mosul offensive

February 21, 2015 4:15 AM

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New U.S. defense chief silent on date of Mosul offensive

KABUL (Reuters) - New U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday he would not telegraph the precise timing of an upcoming Iraqi offensive to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants, after a U.S. military briefing caused an uproar.

Two influential Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, sent a scathing letter to the White House on Friday complaining about a Thursday briefing that predicted a Mosul offensive likely to start in April or May, involving 20,000 to 25,000 Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

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