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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > The Middle East > War in Iraq

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War in Iraq Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and ongoing operations in the region.

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  #46  
Old 20 Oct 16, 13:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
It would be a pretty great victory, given that it would mean the Islamic State would have lost yet another city, and a large and important one. Even if it should be a sea of ruins, it would no longer be a place flying that flag.

Which ties in with your first paragraph above. Yes, sure, you are right - but that amounts to reverting to the MO of previous, older organizations. No control of a territory, no claim to statehood, which was much of what they are about, as their chosen name shows.
So long as they have forces in being, hope endures. Which IMO is bad for us-I would prefer idealists who would stand and die to pragmatists who will live to fight another day.
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  #47  
Old 20 Oct 16, 13:11
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Originally Posted by PhilipLaos View Post
The Iraqi political leadership and army say they will do everything possible to protect civilians in Mosul, including not allowing Shia militias into the city.

However, look at the Russian and Syrian brutal assault on Aleppo, in which they have been bombing indiscriminately, hitting hospitals, schools, mosques and killing thousands of civilians and hundreds of children, in order to eliminate just a few hundred rebel fighters. That has been going on for many weeks and they still haven't captured the city.

Mosul is much larger with a Sunni population of over 1 million and maybe more that 5,000 ISIS fighters. If the Russian and Syrians haven't been able to take Aleppo, even by practically leveling the city and with their lack of concern for civilians, what are the chances of the Iraqi army capturing Mosul while protecting civilians?

This is going to be awful.


Philip
It is different in Mosul compared to Aleppo.

1)The Syrian and Russian airforce use for the most part unguided bombs.
The coalition uses exclusively precision-guided munitions. If there are special forces available to serve as FAC, the airsupport will be much more effective.

2) In Aleppo the manpower balance is approximately 1 vs 1. Assad has more tanks and airpower but he doesn't have more infantry. In city battles the infantry is the most important element. In Mosul I've read it is 4000-8000 ISIS vs 30.000 Peshmerga + Iraqi police + Iraqi Army + Sunni tribes and militia's etc
The Iraqi's have way more manpower. This is a decisive advantage.

3) There are rumours that ISIS leaders are heading towards Raqqa. Dabiq was captured by the Turkish backed rebels. The ISIS morale won't be as good as it once was.

4) It is unclear what the inhabitants of Mosul will do. At least a part of them will welcome the coalition. I believe there are still Turkmen and Kurds in Mosul.

ISIS will most likely fight with IED's, vehicle borne IED's, snipers, hit and run infantry attacks. They don't have the manpower to really hold a continous frontline like in Aleppo. I wouldn't be surprised if they follow the scorched earth approach and destroy everything useful.

The biggest problem will be after the battle. There are a lot of conflicting political interests. ISIS will retreat to Syria and launch terror attacks from there. There probably won't be much money to rebuilt infrastructure etc...


This doesn't mean that taking Mosul will be easy. But it isn't impossible.
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  #48  
Old 20 Oct 16, 16:00
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Originally Posted by american1975 View Post
Problem with that approach is that you would need to have an enemy with limited supplies and actually cared about the civilian population trapped along with them. Also you would need to move fast enough with sufficient forces to impose an exfiltration proof perimeter.

The city of Mosul contains upwards 1,000,000 civilians and no more then 30,000 Al-Qaeda/ISIL fighters, they can easily last for years by confiscating all available food supplies immediately for themselves. Being who they are we know they could care less about the civilian population beyond controlling them. With their track record I'd say their food supply would only being exhausted when the last Mosul resident's body is no longer available to be cannibalized.

The Iraqi forces have not proven themselves to be an effective fighting force with the will and abilities necessary to move quickly enough to trap them in a siege. Being irregulars they can easily shave their beards and disappear into the throngs fleeing the city ahead of any encirclement. Our collective history since the start of "the war on terror" is that we allow the real Al-Qaeda fighters and leadership cadre to escape from battle, going back to the "Airlift of Evil" in Afghanistan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunduz_airlift (I know wikipedia is frowned on as a source, but the links to the relevant source material are there.)

The Establishment sees Al-Qaeda/ISIL as a geopolitical tool and our "asset", the most likely desired outcome is to simply redirect them back onto the goal of "regime change" in Syria.

{Foreign Affairs- March 9, 2015 Middle EastSecurity
Accepting Al Qaeda
The Enemy of the United States' Enemy
By Barak Mendelsohn

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2015-03-09/accepting-al-qaeda}

{POLITICO: Brzezinski: Obama should retaliate if Russia doesn't stop attacking U.S. assets

By Nick Gass

10/05/15 02:37 PM EDT

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/zbigniew-brzezinski-financial-times-op-ed-obama-retaliate-russia-214438}
I would go for water rather than food. Cut the power and water. All fighting age males coming out detained until they can be screened, as well as can be managed in the circumstances.

That, or lose plenty of your own side going into something maybe an order of magnitude worse than the US had in Fallujha.
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  #49  
Old 20 Oct 16, 16:15
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Originally Posted by Escape2Victory View Post
I would go for water rather than food. Cut the power and water. All fighting age males coming out detained until they can be screened, as well as can be managed in the circumstances.

That, or lose plenty of your own side going into something maybe an order of magnitude worse than the US had in Fallujha.
Cut the water and your troops will be exposed to cholera and like diseases.
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  #50  
Old 20 Oct 16, 17:20
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Cut the water and your troops will be exposed to cholera and like diseases.
I can't claim to be an expert on diseases but I would think that situation would arise over weeks and months. I see people driven by thirst to flee the city in days, many people anyway. A hard core could then be tackled more easily.
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  #51  
Old 20 Oct 16, 18:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
What nonsense - under that so called logic the civilian inhabitants of France, Belgium, Netherlands etc etc in 1940 -44 would all be Nazi enablers
You think the Third Reich just magically existed without non militant support? If some group like ISIL or the Third Reich was coming to the US Id do what I could to fight back or perhaps take refuge in Canada or Mexico...as im not going to support a ISIL or Third Reich type of group even if it means I have to leave my home.

Third Reich existed with support from non militants ...ISIL exists with support from non militants.


And to suggest Assad is a killer is not the right way to go, not when peaceful people are saying otherwise. You think the following peace loving Syrians are bad guys for stating a viewpoint that disagrees with you?




The full video,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4dEeoL6QP8

And again a US politician.... Senator Dick Black, has praised Assad.
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  #52  
Old 21 Oct 16, 16:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape2Victory View Post
I can't claim to be an expert on diseases but I would think that situation would arise over weeks and months. I see people driven by thirst to flee the city in days, many people anyway. A hard core could then be tackled more easily.
That would be the intelligent way to do it.

However, this is the Muddle East we are talking about, so...
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  #53  
Old 21 Oct 16, 16:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape2Victory View Post
I can't claim to be an expert on diseases but I would think that situation would arise over weeks and months. I see people driven by thirst to flee the city in days, many people anyway. A hard core could then be tackled more easily.
Cholera can widespread in hours. It is caused by the consumption of contaminated water, and within hours the afflicted will spread the contamination through vomiting and feces.
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  #54  
Old 21 Oct 16, 18:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Increasing numbers of phone calls from inside Mosul are indicating that many of the Islamists are bailing out while they can, taking munitions with them, using commandeered trucks and trailers. - where to must be the worrying question.

Possibly Mosul is just too big to defend given their limited numbers
Good news. If they stay in Mosul they will turn the place to rubble fighting to hold it. The more who leave, the less damage. When they run they are scattered & easier to pick off. Some will inevitably be able to regroup elsewhere, but one problem at a time.
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Old 25 Oct 16, 15:59
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Well.... its been over a week.

Any progress to report?
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  #56  
Old 26 Oct 16, 03:25
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IS seems to be withdrawing to the West Bank and the old city as various militia close in.

The Kurds in particular make good progress through deserted suburbs and sporadic attacks, bombs mostly.

This morning it was reported they seem to have halted though, apparently the city is divided in "zones" for each militia to take and IS has withdrawn largely from the Kurdish zone, to the Western zone destined to be taken by Iraqis and Turkmen militia.

Unconfirmed reports of graves with executed civilians found in the deserted villages recaptured.

My own summary as I remember it from a radio reporter on location this morning.
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Old 26 Oct 16, 03:42
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Are the french caesar artillery systems already in action ?
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Old 26 Oct 16, 04:00
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I've heard nothing about that - he mentioned the presence of a few US armoured vehicles in a command role on the same hilltop he was on, but no other American or European units except for the obvious air attacks.

One could expect 155mm arty to be reserved for when they meet organized resistance and prepared positions though - so far that seems not to be the case.
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Old 26 Oct 16, 04:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowygerry View Post
I've heard nothing about that - he mentioned the presence of a few US armoured vehicles in a command role on the same hilltop he was on, but no other American or European units except for the obvious air attacks.

One could expect 155mm arty to be reserved for when they meet organized resistance and prepared positions though - so far that seems not to be the case.
I know that 4 guns (and 150 soldiers) are in position near the city; along with special forces units.
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Old 26 Oct 16, 04:14
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Well the SF at least would remain out of sight and presumably the artillery would be deployed at considerable distance with forward spotting.

The reporter I heard was on hilltop overlooking the fighting.

Are there no French reporters there ?
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