A U.S. Central Command official said on Thursday that an Iraqi and Kurdish military force of 20,000 to 25,000 troops is being prepared to recapture the city, probably in April or May.
But Obeidi declined to confirm that timetable, and expressed irritation at the remarks from the unnamed U.S. official.
“This is urban warfare and we have civilian populations. It is very important to take time and accuracy in setting the plan for this battle,” he told a news conference in Baghdad.
“A military official should not reveal the timing of an offensive,” he added. “The battle for Mosul starts when preparations are complete, and selecting the time is up to Iraqi military commanders.”