Battle for Mosul: Challenges of Reluctant Allies

Donate

Loading the player...

If you’re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfront

On October 15, the US artillery and the US-led coalition’s airpower delivered massive strikes on ISIS targets inside and outside the city of Mosul, de-facto starting a long-awaited operation to liberate the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq.

The Iraqi military, the semi-autonomous, predominantly Shia, Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the Kurdish Peshmerga, some pro-government Sunni tribal fighters and US and French Special Forces will participate in the operation. Up to 40,000 fighters, over 130 artillery guns, few hundreds of military vehicles will participate in the operation. Warplanes and combat UAVs, belonging to the US-led coalition, and US artillery units will provide support to the main forces.

Such a scrappy anti-ISIS force on the ground will create additional troubles during the operation. Almost all participants are interested to gain political, economic and PR revenue from the operation and to avoid significant casualties as more as it’s possible. Probably, the PMU is the most motivated force to fight ISIS in the modern conditions. However, it’s described by the US as a pro-Iranian entity. So, it will not receive any major support on the ground.

There is no information either the negotiations with local Sunni clans from Mosul in order to ease the liberation of Mosul have succeeded or not. So, probably, the Iraqi forces and its supporters will face stiff counteractions from estimated 10,000 ISIS fighters deployed in the city.

Direct participation in the operation of Turkish military units, deployed northwest of Mosul, also remains unclear. President Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey is determined to take part in the operation. However, the move was strongly opposed by Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said Turkey risks triggering a regional war by illegal actions in the country. His government has demanded Ankara to withdraw military units from the Iraqi territory and requested an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the issue. Turkey ignores the demands of the Iraqi government.

According to unofficial estimates, Ankara has up to 18 military sites in Iraq. They have not been approved by the Iraqi Parliament and leadership of the Iraqi Kurdistan has had no legal right to make any deals to allow this. The Iraqi Parliament has called the Turkish military contingent an occupying force.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, that is a part of the PMU, says that the Turkish military has started massing near Mosul since the start of operations to liberate Anbar province from ISIS. Ankara’s goal, according to the group’s representatives, is to draw PMU forces and Iraqi security forces from parts of Anbar and Mosul in order to complicate the operation against ISIS.

In any case, such an antagonism between Turkey and Iraq will complicate the liberation of Mosul, significantly, and contribute to ISIS in the region, even if Ankara has not attempted to achieve this goal. In the worst scenario, if Ankara tries to participate in the Mosul operation, ignoring Baghdad’s will, this could lead to a new regional conflict.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • drbhelthi

    If U.S. and French forces are involved, we know that removal of the CIA/MOSSAD ISIS-ISIL is not the major goal of the offensive. Similar to the US coalition forces that continue to attempt to remove Assad and establish a CIA/MOSSAD patsy as president in Syria, similar subterfuge is the major goal in the current “U.S. offensiveness” in Iraq.

    • drbhelthi

      Sarkozy of France led the NATO destruction of Libya and Qadhaffi. Who is the French politician behind the current “U.S.” coalition in Iraq, preparing to turn Iraq over to Erdogan/MOSSAD control ? Who will end up assuming responsibility for the destruction of Iraq´s leadership and establishing “CIA/MOSSAD democracy” in Iraq?

      • Ryan Law

        its a US PR stunt that they hope will be completed before 9th of november so hillary can feather her nest with it, wether it removes ISIS or not from mosul it will be said they are gone by like 4th november at latest.
        most of the honest analysts of situation say its going to create close to 1million refugees and open a massive can of worms as to who has control of city/break down regional co operation, in mean time isis is using the concerntration of forces to attempt to expand territory in south western iraq near their saudi supply lines

  • CyricRenner

    The Americans job in the offensive will be to see as many ISIS fighters, along with their equipment, are evacuated to be redeployed in Syria. Talk to any Iraqi military officer and they will tell you the same thing. They do not want the Americans there, but they have no choice, as they do have the strength to take Mosul on their own.