KABALI, Iraq -- Iraq’s elite special forces are battle-hardened and American trained, and Wednesday they moved into position for a new push towards Mosul.
Lt. Col. Ali Hussein bragged they would be inside the city in a matter of hours.
“But ISIS has 5,000 fighters in Mosul. You’re going to defeat them in a few hours?” asked CBS News correspondent Holly Williams.
“We’re the special forces,” he replied. “We can do it.”
But the truth is the Mosul offensive has slowed to a crawl in the last 48 hours.
On Wednesday, a group of Kurdish fighters built new defensive positions 15 miles east of the city.
They recaptured the area on Monday, and now they’re planning on staying put, not going into battle.
The village of Kabali expemplifies why the offensive is such slow going. When ISIS fled on Monday, they left most of the houses rigged with homemade bombs.
They Kurds detonated some and dismantled others.
But Mohammed Sayeed Satiq has come home to find his house still laced with explosives. He fled in 2014, along with all the other residents
“Why would ISIS put explosives on your house?” Williams asked him.
“They’re our enemies, and they have no mercy” he replied.
What Kurdish and Iraqi forces have found in the villages captured so far suggests that retaking Mosul, a densely packed city with around one million residents, could take months.