Top Iraqi commander: Mosul could be liberated in 3 months

A top Iraqi commander says the operation to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group could be complete in three months or less.

Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati said in an interview with the AP on Tuesday evening that "It's possible" Mosul will be liberated in three months or less. But he warned it is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long the operation will take because it is not a conventional fight.

"There are many variables," he said, describing the combat as "guerrilla warfare."

The massive offensive that involves some 30,000 Iraqi forces was launched in October. Although Iraqi leaders originally pledged the city would be retaken before 2017, as the fight enters its fourth month only about one third is under government control.