Republicans: More work to be done in Iraq after retaking Mosul
Republican lawmakers say there is more work to be done, even after Iraqi forces retook Mosul from the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Sunday.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) praised the Iraqi and U.S. coalition forces for their campaign's success, while also calling for a comprehensive plan to fully "hold, stabilize, and rebuild the city of Mosul."
“The retaking of Mosul today marks an important success in the campaign to defeat ISIL, but this conflict is far from over. It is better to think of today as the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end," McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.
“A comprehensive post-Mosul strategy is the only way to ensure that the defeat of ISIL will be enduring. We cannot afford for Mosul to turn out like Libya, where we squandered a long and brutal military success by walking away before winning the peace,” he continued.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the recapturing of Mosul a step in the "right direction," but argued "there is still much more work ahead."
“Recapturing Mosul is a key strategic victory not just for Iraq, but also for the security of the free world in the fight against ISIS," Zeldin said in a statement.
"Mosul served as a critical node of control for ISIS and being driven out of that city is a massive setback for that terrorist group. There is still much more work ahead to bring peace to the Middle East and rid the world of radical Islamic terrorism, but for now, there is a military strategy in Iraq that is moving in the right direction with a path to long term peace and stability."
Their statements come after the Twitter account of Iraq's prime minister congratulated "the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people in achieving this great victory" on Sunday.
Mosul, Iraq's second biggest city, had been under the terror group's control since June 2014.