Mosul – is the second most populated city in Iraq that is mainly inhabited by Sunnis, came under ISIS’ full control back in June 2014, largely due to deep mistrust that the indigenous population had towards the Shia government of Iraq. It is in the Great Mosque of Mosul that ISIS’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the establishment of the so-called caliphate, that according to his vision would extend its reach across all of Syria’s and Iraq’s territories.
For a long time Mosul remained the principal stronghold of ISIS, therefore Washington would often refer to that city as “the capital of ISIS”. This was done for Barack Obama to announce an assault on this city during the Hillary Clinton’s election campaign, that was presented as a major goal for the US to achieve.
The active phase of the operation that was aimed at liberating Mosul was started by the Pentagon on January 21, 2015. A total of 9 thousand ISIS militants that got themselves entrenched in the city were instantly surround by the 60 thousand strong Iraqi army. It should be noted that this impressive force was composed from different units, including 6 thousand Peshmerga fighters and 10 thousand Shia militia fighters backed by Iran. This force was supported by the international coalition forces, that included up to 5 thousand US soldiers, 3 thousand of NATO servicemen and a total of 500 French troopers, not including the air support.
However, in spite of Obama’s load statements that was convinced that the city would be liberated long before the US presidential election, the massive coalition force failed to fullfill this goal. Even the “colorful” name that was given to this operation by the White House – Fatah (from the Arabic – “he who opens the door”, one of Allah’s 99 beautiful names) didn’t help.
Just the other day, a commander of US-led anti-ISIS international coalition forces General Stephen Townsend stated that Mosul would be recaptured from terrorists in the next six months. Before that he was convinced that Mosul would have been liberated by February.
The eastern part of Mosul was declared a “fully liberated” zone in the past month. Then all fighting in the city stopped. An attempt to recapture the western half of Mosul is bound to begin in the next few days, as it’s been announced by the General. Steven Townsend has also noted that nothing will end once Mosul is captured, since the international coalition has not fulfill all of its designated goals in Iraq.” He is convinced that the coalition force still needs to wipe out the militants that are occupying about one third of the Euphrates Valley.
However, the price that the coalition has paid during the liberation attempt seems catastrophic.
Even if we are to believe the data provided by the coalition forces, the attackers have lost a total of 30 thousand men killed and wounded, while the losses suffered by ISIS are simply incomparable. The coalition is convinced that their assault on Mosul resulted in the death of no more than 1,300 ISIS militants. The better part of the terrorist forces have moved to the western part of the city or simply or “vanished” in the civilian ranks.
Even though Barack Obama was initially convinced that local armed forces will be able to overcome ISIS’s resistance, while enjoying limited US army support, however, it’s getting obvious that US special forces are getting increasingly involved in the fight against ISIS, as evidenced by their rapidly increasing losses. For example, last October alone a total of 16 US servicemen was killed in Mosul, while another 27 special forces operatives were wounded.
Hundreds of deceased civilians should be added to the price paid for the liberation of Mosul. Thus, according to the statements of the UN coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande up to 47% of all the wounded men in Mosul were civilians, while on average this number rarely exceeds 15-20% in armed conflicts. In the last week of December, a total of 817 men was injured, while in early January this number grew by another 683 people.
It must be noted that the way Washington has been waging the war on ISIS, with the use of “natives” as a main assault force, has already undermined the positions enjoyed by the United States in the Middle East. The war against ISIS is gradually being transformed into a Shias vs Sunnis religious struggle, which leads to Iran getting even more influence in the south of Iraq and in Baghdad. However, Washington, in spite of the continuing sanctions against Iran, is forced to turn a blind eye to this fact.
The rational that was presented to US servicemen to motivate them into getting into the fight, the one that states that they are fighting against the “absolute evil” has suffered a complete fiasco. American soldiers were quick to learn that they are just killing local “savage men” which turns the Mosul operation into an episode of yet another Western colonial war. It’s hard to blame them that they don’t want to sacrifice their lives for this cause.
The 9/11 events were used as an excuse by the Western elites to wage wars “for the national interests”, forcing the public to believe that the aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan was purely defensive. However, the reality was that young men were sent overseas to fight in colonial wars. All this resulted in a new mobilization of the Islamic world that has always had a huge surplus of human resources.
As international analysts note, all these facts show the utter and complete failure of Washington’s policies in Iraq, and the Middle East as a whole.