Reuters International

U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, commander, U.S. Central Command, briefs the media at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S. on April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq is on track to meet its objective to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State later this year, should Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi choose to go forward as planned, the head of the U.S. military's Central Command said on Tuesday.

"It's the prime minister's objective to have that done by the end of the year," General Joseph Votel, who oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East, told a news conference. "My assessment is that we can meet the ... prime minister's objectives, if that's what he chooses to do."

(Reporting by Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Ruthy Munoz; Editing by James Dalgleish)


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