Mosul - Allied Boots on the Ground

  1. Osi
    7,757 Posts.
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    From the Kurdish newsagency Rudaw:

    "The battle for Mosul is expected to involve airstrikes by coalition forces and fighting street-to-street on the ground by a mix of Peshmerga, Iraqi troops and some boots from the US-led allied forces, probably as advisors."

    I think I called this correctly the other day. The hard point of the offensive will come from the Peshmerga but with some Iraqi support (particularly tribal). Sunni Arabs are being trained as "police" by the Kurds (and with input from the US and Canada. Sunnis need to perceive this ass Sunnis liberating Sunni lands.

    Success or otherwise will depend on 1) level of popular dissatisfaction with ISIS 2) a required perception that Sunnis are liberating Sunni land and 3) a rare dose of common sense from the Baghdad Government [this can't happen unless Iran keeps the Shias on a very tight leash].

    Will it work ? ..... with sleeper cells , ISIS defeats in the surrounding region and Mosul now cut off by the Kurds the operation has every chance of success.

    Risks ....... Civilian population in-situ. Grasping and maintaining popular support. This can only happen by offering the Sunni Arabs similar autonomy to the Kurds with the view to effective independence at a later date (perhaps within an economic union but I don't know that they would want this. ISIS will be preparing for house to house fighting and will be rigging premises with explosives.

    Opportunity ......... Mosul is the birthplace of ISIS. Taking this huge city is key to the routing of the ISIS in Iraq. ISIS may be relatively weaker than we think. I get the impression that most of the foreign ISIS fighters have gone and that there are defections within. Defecting ISIS fighters need assurances of proper treatment by the Kurds rather than summary execution by Baghdad Government forces.

    How many boots on the Ground?

    Very few IMHO. Maybe some heavy weapons but not that much. This needs to work as a Sunni revolt against ISIS with other players in a backup role only.

    Last edited by Osi: 12/02/15
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