The Iraqi city of Mosul will be liberated shortly before the US Presidential Election 2016 (in November 2016), a member of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defence committee, Nayef al-Shemmri believes.
“It is very regrettable that the recapture of Mosul is going to be used as a winning card for the US elections,” he said, as reported by Tasnim and translated by IFP.
This statement one more time highlights the real cause of the ongoing US preparations for operations to re-take Mosul from the ISIS terrorist group. It’s the only reason of deployment of 400 US troops in Qayyarah Air Base, 60 km from Mosul. This military contingent will secure attack helicopters and aircraft deployed to the air base and assist Iraqi air forces as air controllers. Pro-US media outlets also report that US troops will train, assist and advice the Iraqi army. However, it’s hard to believe in this because there are almost no Iraqi army units south of Mosul. The ISIS stronghold is blocked by the Kurdish Pesherga (from the northern direction) and local Suni militias (from other sides). Military sources estimate the manpowre of Suni militias as 15,000 fighters. ISIS has about 10,000 fighters in Mosul. The city’s population is about 500,000.
In this situation, the real storm of Mosul can not be expected. Indeed, Baghdad, supported by the US, is negotiating with local Suni clans, aiming to make a deal with local Suni clans and re-take the city by diplomatic measures. The same approach was implemented in Ramadi and Fallujah.
If the deal is made, the US will achieve a tactical PR success that would help the Democratis in the ongoing political competition in the US. However, the problem is that this approach does not help to counter the ISIS threat in the terror threat in Middle East.