Kurdish-Iraqi 15 kilometers from Mosul, but the battle will be very hard

  • Italiano

There are 15 kilometers between Iraqi Kurdish forces supported by the US and Mosul, but the battle to retake the last major stronghold of Isis in Iraq is not easy.It has just started  Monday, October 17 after midnight, approximately 30 000 men are committed of different armies and militias also rival each other. As mentioned a few days ago, Pentagon reaffirm that in Iraq there are about 5 thousand US military, some of which in the suburbs of Mosul.

Human shields

The major fear is the fate of about one and a half million civilians who remain in the city conquered in June 2014 by ISIS and elected as “Iraqi” capital of the  “Caliphate” led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.The United Nations fears that “thousands of civilians could find themselves under siege” of government troops or become “human shields” in Isis hands. Stephen O’Brien ,UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, appealed “to all parties to respect their obligations to protect civilians under international humanitarian law”.Fields were set up in south and southeast to accommodate no more than one hundred thousand people . Other agglomerations are under construction in the north and east of the city. It could accommodate up to 250 thousand displaced people.

The case

Mosul is predominantly Arab and Sunni, but it will be besieged by Kurdish soldiers supported by US special forces and Iraqi government troops. These last have been  perceived for many years, by Iraqi Sunni populations, as “Shiite” and “pro-Iranian.”Civilians in Mosul may not be considered a “liberation”the entering of forces “hostile in the city.” Stephen Townsend, the American General, commander of the international coalition anti-US-Isis, said that the campaign to regain Mosul “it could take weeks, and maybe more.

The announcement

Haidar al Abadi, Iraqi prime minister and supreme commander of the armed forces, appeared to speech to the nation in military uniform :”The forces that will free you have only one goal, to get rid of Daesh and give you dignity. “Daesh is the derogatory acronym used for Isis. Abadi said that the only forces that will come in Mosul will be the government army and national police, (in reference to recent polemics on the use of pro-Iranian Shiite militias cooped by the government.

The operations

The government troops have advanced from the base of Qayyara (60 km south of Mosul) to the sulfur factory and the villages south-east of the city. Ash Carter, the US Secretary Defence said :” it is a decisive moment to defeat ISIS”. US special forces have been spotted behind the Kurdish lines advancing to east of Mosul with hundreds of vehicle .Until 2013-14, these areas were populated by Christians and other non-Sunni communities, such as the Shabak. Kurdish-Iraqi president, Massud Barzani announced the “conquest today only 200 kilometers of land”, tearing the self-styled Islamic State the seven villages control. It has ensured that the Kurds will not enter in Mosul city.

Turkey protests

Erdogan, however, after the problems with the government in Baghdad, he opened another polemical face saying that Turkey can not be excluded from the offensive to free the city and he reiterated that Ankara’s troops will not leave the base of Bashiqa, about 30 km north-east of Mosul, as was requested by the Prime Minister Abadi. The Turkish President said :”We will be involved in the transaction and in negotiation “.

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