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DAESH on the run

Last week marked the beginning of the Battle of Mosul. Launched by the Iraqi Army and other American allies such as Kurdish Peshmerga, the objective is to liberate Iraq’s second largest city from DAESH control as well as the rest of of Nineveh Governate, the homeland of Assyrian Christians.

While an attack on Mosul has been anticipated for months, Ash Carter revealed today that he hopes there will be a simultaneous assault on Raqqa "as soon as possible". Attacking both targets ought to make life very difficult for DAESH militants as it will be very challenging to reinforce both positions at the same time.

Regardless, the writing is on the wall, and it is not a good omen for the barbaric militants who have terrorized the inhabitants of the entire region for 2+ years. Dreams of a Caliphate governed by radical interpretations of Shariah Law are coming to an end.

While there is the caveat that one can never be 100% of the outcome of a war, I am confident in the leadership of President Obama, Secretary Carter and the generals in charge. That said, we'll have to wait and see in a few months where things go. In the mean time, we must do what we can to support our allies in Turkey, Kuridistan, Iraq and Syria. And definitely give kudos to Obama and Carter for threading the diplomatic needle between the competing interests of these US allies.

And lastly, a moment ought to be taken to thank the soldiers fighting DAESH not matter what uniform they may be wearing. While it is not easy to find accurate numbers, there are likely dozens of men who have valiantly sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Mosul. Take a moment to remember them.

For updates regarding the Battle Mosul from a Kurdish POV, click here.

Posted by Warren Porter at October 23, 2016 4:40 PM
Comment #408989

The latest tweet from Trump:

“The attack on Mosul is turning out to be a total disaster. We gave them months of notice. U.S. is looking so dumb. VOTE TRUMP and WIN AGAIN!”

Well, if nothing else, this latest piece of idiocy gives a good example of just how bad a candidate Trump really is. And this is the Republican nominee for President of the United States! How could so many conservatives let something like this happen? A lot of them actually voted for this guy!

Posted by: phx8 at October 24, 2016 11:07 AM
Comment #408992

It is pretty obvious to us real Americans that can see through the fog of the MSM that the Clinton Foundation and DAESH are in some kind of a conspiracy to throw the election her way. DAESH has probably contributed many millions to the CGI for this attack. If she wins it will be proof this is true.

Trump has already told us it will be a total disaster. Now some of us may think he is referring to the battle in Mosul, but IMHO he is saying this in a much more narcissistic way. It is a personal disaster because despite having months of notice Trump wasn’t able to thwart the invasion until after the election so he could maintain his bumpersticker ideology of “looking dumb”. Proof of government corruption and the anti Trump crowd that owns the government.

DO I sound deranged enough to make this a pro-conservative/pro-Trump comment?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 24, 2016 11:39 AM
Comment #408993

Not bad j2t2 but you forgot to tie in the illegal immigrants that are helping DAESH by doing something or other and the women who have accused the great molester in chief by besmirching him by accusing him of what his spoken word has already admitted. Benghazi, Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster, Monica Lewinsky, Emails, Clinton Foundation, Pay for Play, IRS scandal, but we got her/them this time for sure. If not don’t worry we’ll keep tryin’ cause we got money to make off of them conservatives (books/movies/donations/etc.).

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2016 12:06 PM
Comment #408994

Oh and thanks WP for pointing out how a coalition of forces might work out better in defeating “radical islam” then just talking about it at rallies here.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2016 12:22 PM
Comment #408997

IMO, the biggest challenge will be keeping IS from coming back in once the battle is ‘over.’ The Iraqi military, allies and people must be willing to be in it for the long haul.

Posted by: kctim at October 24, 2016 4:38 PM
Comment #409000

I am uncertain if the ideological/theological/political factions that have generated the most recent problems in the ME and the rest of the world can be kept from coming back. If you consider where the religion is in a timeline, it is approximately 1300 years along. The main western religion, Christianity, at 1300 years along looked, in retrospect, as tumultuous as Islam. I fear great unrest could be displayed for some time unless there are wise political decisions made. We could learn from history some obvious errors.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2016 5:12 PM
Comment #409003

“And lastly, a moment ought to be taken to thank the soldiers fighting DAESH..”

Absolutely! This is particularly true for the Kurds of both Iraq and Syria who stood and fought DAESH from the very beginning. By the way, the Kurds are Sunni Muslims but they are very tolerant of alternative religions and were instrumental in rescuing the Yazidis trapped by DAESH on that mountain top during the initial ISIS onslaught.

It was also the Syrian Kurds who handed ISIS its first major defeat at Kobani near the Turkish border. Kurdish male and female militias (YPG/YPJ) held off a much larger ISIS attacking force at Kobani and with US air support eventually defeated and forced an ISIS withdrawal from the Kobani area in Syria. It was truly a heroic “last stand” effort for which neither the Kurds nor the US received the credit due for a job well done. Apparently, it didn’t fit the narrative that ISIS was omnipotent at the time.

If there is any good that can come out of this mess, it would be that the Kurds are granted an independent state. They have proven not only to be reliable partners in this struggle but are a Sunni Muslim society that is pluralistic and tolerant of differing religions and ethnicities.

Posted by: Rich at October 24, 2016 6:35 PM
Comment #409004

“IMO, the biggest challenge will be keeping IS from coming back in once the battle is ‘over.’”

It is undoubtedly the greatest challenge, kctim. Mosul initially fell so easily because its Sunni population essentially welcomed ISIS. They were tired of the oppression and occupation of Mosul by a Shiite dominated Iraqi army during the regime of Maliki.

But, lets not get ahead of ourselves. Whether the current re-constituted Iraqi army and the changed Iraqi leadership is up to the task in Mosul remains to be seen. This is a difficult battle within a very large urban city. It is estimated that approximately 600,000 of the 1.8 million residents remain in the city. Small narrow streets, limited ability to use armored vehicles, miles of buildings and civilians everywhere. It is a real military challenge. We should remember that the US Marines withdrew from the first Fallujah battle. This is no cakewalk.

Posted by: Rich at October 24, 2016 7:24 PM
Comment #409005
the Kurds are granted an independent state.

To me, this is the best answer to kctim’s concern. Unfortunately, the Iraqi government favors the Shia majority and will not curry favor among Sunni Arabs anytime soon. If seems like only the Kurds can control that territory without pissing off the locals. Of course there are complications vis-à-vis Turkey’s opposition to an independent Kurdistan on account of their own Kurdish minority. Otherwise, we’ll have to dust off Joe Biden’s old plan for a tripartite division of Iraq.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 24, 2016 8:16 PM
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