Sunday, October 23, 2016
Mosul Offensive IV.
Once more from DEBKAfile as extracted almost in entirety and continuing with the topic of the Mosul offensive.
"The big Mosul offensive is stuck, halted by ISIS"
"Less than a day after its launch, the big Mosul offensive prepared for more than a year by the US, the Iraqi army, Kurdish forces and others, ground to a halt Tuesday Oct. 17 . . . although none of the parties admitted as much. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said his troops were busy opening up corridors for some million civilians to escape, while US sources suggested that the Islamic State would use primitive chemical weapons against the advancing Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Both had the ring of cover stories to account for the spearhead forces, the Iraq army's 9th Armored Division and the Federal Police special anti-terror units, being thrown back Tuesday on their way to Mosul from the east and the south, while still 10-15km short of the city. They sustained heavy losses in lives and hardware. The Iraqi anti-terror force withdrew from the village of al-Houd outside Mosul, a move which left the Kurdish Peshmerga no option but to stop its sweep of the villages around the city or expose their flanks to ISIS suicide and car bomb assaults. Tuesday night, both Iraqi and Kurdish commanders announced a pause in their advance and said they would meet Wednesday to decide how to proceed. The Islamic State might have been expected to take advantage of the prior warning of the offensive for a stand in defense of the Iraqi capital of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's caliphate and so exploit the conflicting interests of the invading force. But ISIS leaders decided against waiting for the combined offensive. Indeed, according to DEBKAfile's sources, thousands of jihadis made tracks out of the city two or three months ago, leaving several hundred fighters behind to harass the approaching forces and retain a foothold in Mosul."
THAT MAIN COMBAT ELEMENT OF THE ISLAMIC STATE IN MOSUL HAS ALREADY AND EVEN SOME TIME AGO FLED THE CITY IN ANTICIPATION OF THE IRAQI OFFENSIVE!
Only one day into the offensive and the situation while not dire is hardly upbeat. The commanders of the Iraqi and Kurdish military units must FIRST meet and decide how to proceed. AGAIN, NO UNIFIED COMMAND!