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05 October 2016

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Swami

PL, how many fighters do you think they have in Mosul? Would it be a feasible plan for them to slip into the darkness and live to fight another day? I believe it would be hard to entirely surround Mosul.

b

All depends on the general local public in Mosul.

If many locals joined IS as fighters (paid or for ideological reasons) and continue with IS it will be a very difficult fight. Lots of ambushes etc.

If locals want to help fighting IS it will be way easier. Intelligence will come in and there will be attacks in the rear of IS-fronts.

Laguerre

This offensive against Mosul seems to me a bit fictional. The Kurds, already in situ on the east bank of the Tigris, have no particular interest in fighting through a Sunni city. The example has already been demonstrated in the case of Raqqa, where they haven't in fact attacked Raqqa, outside their ethnic area. As for the Shi'a militia, from the south, they are also outside of their area. What is needed is agreement with the authorities in Mosul. What I mean by that, as is common in the Islamic world, is a combination of the leading figures in the city. As is usual in the Islamic world, it's personal.

elaine

"IS plans widespread destruction in Mosul as conditions worsen for residents"
http://www.voanews.com/a/is-plans-widespread-destruction-in-mosul-as conditions-worsen-for residents/353687.html

Jay

Urban Noose

Let's see how clean our hands can be?

?

Imagine

Gen. Dunford says "controlling the airspace" over Syria would definitely require going to war against Syria and Russia, but then 10 seconds later in the longer clip he retracts himself and says "establishing a no-fly zone" over Syria would NOT require going to war against Syria and Russia.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iKiQmFJqZYg#t=116

So which is it? How feasible is it for the Pentagon to unilaterally establish a no-fly zone without starting a war with Russia?

Pundita

Yes, Islamic State fighters are very serious. To show how serious, they've issued a fatwa against Mosul housecats. House to house searches for the cats. The reasons aren't terribly clear but obviously it's because they've figured out the cats are spies. No word yet on whether Erdogan has accused his cat of being a Gulenist. Anyhow, this beats out the fatwa they issued against pigeons.

https://www.rt.com/viral/361719-isis-ban-cats-mosul/

turcopolier

Laguerre

Kurds are 90% Sunni. I suppose you meant Sunni Arabs. pl

Laguerre

Yeah, sure. I don't see the interest of the Kurds to fight their way into a Sunni Arab city, when they've had their nose bloodied elsewhere. After 2003, they controlled much of Northern Sunni Iraq, but with ISIS they were knocked out. I don't see the interest to go back, if it means losing Kurdish lives.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

I would call it:

عملیات صفین ۲

Babak Makkinejad

While not disliking felines per se, I thought Istanbul would be a more pleasant city without them. Does that make me an ISIS sympathizer?

Chris Chuba

They will fight, the question is, will it be the token 500 fighters or a big contingent.

Fars News is reporting that ISIS is relocating equipment and personnel to Raqqa.
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950714001434

There is some logic to this. Yes, Mosul is a much bigger and richer area than anything in Syria but the problem is that there is a, more or less, united coalition fighting them in Iraq. In Syria there is a potential for a barroom brawl between the U.S. and the Al Qaeda coalition vs. R+6 (unfortunately, that is the most accurate way to phrase it) and/or the Turks vs the Kurds. So yes, Syria is not as juicy a prize but their prospects there are better.
However, even a small number of fighters can make a huge mess of Mosul just like it has done in the other cities.

We shall see. I am still fuming that our leaders are coming out so plainly for the Al Qaeda coalition and the U.S. media is so blind to it.

This is really interesting to me. The British media actually shamed our State Dept by asking them about our lack of air strikes against Al Qaeda in Syria.
http://russia-insider.com/en/russia-finds-shaming-us-government-action-can-work/ri16815

The progression:
1. The British actually listened directly to Lavrov (not an interpretation from our State Dept).
2. They reasoned that Lavrov's comments made enough sense to at least inquire and form into a question.
3. When confronted, the U.S. State Dept shill fell to pieces.

BING - Journalism 101. Good job Brits.
The U.S. Media should really be ashamed of themselves instead of being so self-righteous.

mike allen

I doubt seriously if the Peshmerga will fight in western Mosul. Why should they? They will certainly act as a blocking set up road blocks on all roads into and out of eastern and northern Mosul.

But there are many Kurdish, Yezidi, and Shabak neighborhoods of Mosul east of the Tigris that are still unliberated. I can see them taking part in fighting ISIS in those areas as long as they don't cross the river.

And possibly even standing up against Hashd al Shabi militia if they intrude there.

Ghostship

Looking on Digital Globe, quite a few of the oil wells to the north-east of Qayyarah airbase are still burning.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-oil-idUSKCN11C0JE

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Afghanistan and Libya campaigns indicate that western air forces can overturn 3rd world states when supporting indigenous proxy forces. After back stabbing the Syrian Kurds; seizing Raqqa for Hillary Clinton’s October Surprise is out. Mosul was once a city of two and half million people like Aleppo. With the Kurds conserving forces and the Iraq puppet Army uncertain, the only major force that can take the city are the Shiite Militias. The Islamists have nowhere to go, are experienced, and are fighting for their homes even through they’ve been reduced to concrete rubble. The Shiite militias are outsiders intent on revenge for thousands of years of atrocities. Turkey and the Gulf Monarchies will aid moderate shaved Jihadists and try to partition out a Sunni homeland. I expect that the battle for Mosul will continue well into the next year. The mini world war will continue its escalation especially if Russia and Iran get involved in Iraq.

Poul

Laguerre, remember that the Kurds wants Mosul as part of their autonomous region. My impression is that the Kurds would love to see a devastated Mosul where the Arab population have fled.

elaine

Who knows what's up with the link I posted? Anyway the main point of that story was to report ISIS digging tunnels throughout Mosul, so besides fighting house to house the liberating armies will have to literally
play wack a mole.

The article also claimed all of the ISIS big wigs have already fled the city.

Amir

It is a good excuse to search the house. They could have just issued a fatwa requesting that they will check each house for pigs or Persian Baghali Poloi.

Lord Curzon

Colonel,

I see the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has penned a letter to President Obama, encouraging him to re-assess his relationship with Russia.

Knowing you'd acted in concert with the group before, I was bemused not to see your name alongside others. Any particular reason you felt you couldn't sign?

turcopolier

Lord Curzon

I hope Obama listens to them. I doubt that they will be heard in the WH. pl

Mishkilji

Pat--

Sorry, but "Shia Dawn" has been taken, we renamed Operation Iraqi Freedom to Shia Dawn in 2004.

c

Opérations Safin 2?

The Beaver

@ b

Wonder if you've seen this article:
The Once and Future Mosul - The American Interest

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/09/26/the-once-and-future-mosul/

The complexities of Mosul

turcopolier

mishkilji

https://southfront.org/us-army-chief-threatens-war-with-russia/ I find it very worrisome that the CofS of the US Army is talking like this. pl

AlanQ

Off topic but what is this guy drinking

"Russia and Syria say their forces are attacking the powerful Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) in eastern Aleppo.
Mr de Mistura said the group was about 900 strong in eastern Aleppo and he would willingly accompany them out of the city if they decided to leave.
"If you did decide to leave in dignity, and with your weapons, to Idlib or anywhere you wanted to go, I personally am ready physically to accompany you" he said."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37576204

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