(CNN) – There may be up to 10,000 ISIS fighters keeping an iron grip in on Mosul-Iraq’s second largest city. Now, hundreds of additional U.S. and coalition troops could soon be nearby.
“The reason we need new trainers or additional trainers is because that’s really the next step in generating the amount of combat power needed to liberate Mosul.”
The U.S. and Iraqi government calculate 24,000 highly trained Iraqi forces are needed to dislodge the terror group and re-take the city.
Defense secretary ash carter urging other nations to contribute more troops at a Paris meeting, but while the battle for Mosul looms, ISIS is working to build a new power center in Libya.
A senior defense official tells CNN fighters are increasingly going there when they can’t get into Syria and others are traveling there from Syria to avoid coalition airstrikes.
In November the first U.S. airstrike against ISIS in Libya killed Abu Nabil, a senior operative. CNN has learned the U.S. is privately pressing allies to take new action against hundreds of ISIS fighters now in Libya as ISIS operatives continue to stream in.
The threat in Libya, the classic failed state is growing by leaps and bounds. In essence what ISIS has done is they have transferred their operations from Syria and Iraq into Libya.
The U.S. doesn’t think ISIS will fully abandon Syria. But the worry now: ISIS will make a grab for Libya’s oil, because the organization needs cash.
Newly released video shows U.S. bombing this ISIS cash storage site near Mosul, the ninth time cash sites have been hit. Ten of millions in currency destroyed the U.S. believes.
ISIS is now moving money around to smaller, more dispersed sites.
In what appears to be a leaked document issued by ISIS, the group says it’s cutting the salaries of it’s’ fighters in half. The statement reads: No one is excluded.
In Afghanistan U.S. troops for the first time have the authority to directly go after ISIS, now that it’s been declared a foreign terrorist organization there, another sign of the growing effort.
The top U.S. commander says they have slowed the flow of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq, but the biggest test of the U.S. effort may be about to come.
Copyright CNN 2016