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Plans To Retake Mosul Modified After Leaks: Iraqi PM

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Strategy to retake northern city from Daesh is changed after original plan is leaked by MPs

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Thursday said the army’s strategy to retake the northern city of Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group had been modified after the original plan was leaked by Iraqi lawmakers.

"We have changed our plan to liberate Mosul after it was leaked by certain parliamentarians," al-Abadi said without identifying the MPs in question.

"Operations to retake the city will begin sometime later this year," he added.

He went on to say that operations aimed at recapturing the city of Baiji, located some 210 kilometers north of Baghdad, "have already begun and will continue".

In a related development Wednesday, al-Abadi asserted that Daesh had sustained "major losses" in the city of Fallujah, which was wrested from the terrorist group earlier this week by Iraqi army troops and allied Shia militias.

In April, the Iraqi army -- backed by a U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition -- launched a major offensive to recapture Fallujah from Daesh, which overran the city in early 2014.

Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured Mosul, regional capital of Nineveh province, and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.

According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq -- more than half of them children -- while more than 10 million remain in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

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