Pentatgon Press Secretary says U.S. troops could enter Mosul in fight against ISIS

Peter Cook took questions from reporters on the battle to retake the Iraqi City of Mosul from ISIS militants.

Iraqi forces have launched their most complex anti-Islamic State operation to retake the country’s second-largest city of

White House Press Secretary Peter Cook addressed journalists following the completion of the Iraqi Army’s first day of the operation on Monday.

During the briefing, CNN’s Barbara Starr inquired about the presence of U.S. troops and their future movements during the operation.

Related: CNN Special Operations reports in direct violation of OPSEC and puts soldier’s lives at risk

Cook could not confirm that U.S. forces would enter the ISIS controlled city but did not rule it out.

“Im not going to look ahead to the future,” he said. “We are on day 1.”

He stated the U.S. military advisers are prepared to do everything necessary to defeat ISIS in the city.

“The secretary [of defense] wants ISIS defeated in Mosul and we are going to do everything we need to accomplish that goal,” said Cook.

Cook assured that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would have to approve U.S. troops moving into Mosul.

“It will be the Iraqis in the lead not the Americans,” he said.

When asked if Americans were on the outskirts of the city, he confirmed their presence but would not elaborate on the size of the force or their locations.

During questioning, many journalists continued to inquire about future U.S. military movements on the ground despite Cook’s previous refusals to answer.

Cook had to go as far as saying,”You know me better than to tell you where U.S. Special Forces are going anywhere in the world so I’m not going to respond to that question”

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