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By Samia Nakhoul, Michael Georgy and Stephen Kalin ERBIL (Reuters) - It has taken two years of training a demoralized army, backed up by the air cover and special forces of the world’s greatest powers, for Iraq to mount an offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State. If local fighters in Mosul can be persuaded to drop their allegiance to Islamic State, there is a chance that the battle can be brought to a more speedy conclusion, and that could have major implications for the future of Iraq. Against a background of splits and rebellions in the Islamic State ranks in Mosul, some opposing commanders believe that a successful attempt to win over those local fighters could mean the battle lasts only weeks rather than months.
Iraqi security forces on Monday ended an attack by the Islamic State group in Kirkuk city, killing at least 74 jihadists in three days of clashes, the provincial governor said. "The attack is over and life has returned to normal," Najmeddin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk province, told AFP.
Representatives of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments will get a chance to tell Brexit minister David Davis how they hope Britain's future relationship with the EU will work, under plans the government announced on Monday. At a meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May will offer the leaders of the three devolved governments, which have varying degrees of autonomy, formal discussions on Brexit at least twice before the end of the year, her office said. "The country is facing a negotiation of tremendous importance and it is imperative that the devolved administrations play their part in making it work," May said in a statement her office released before the meeting.