Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mosul battle plan change will likely result in prolonged siege

"...ran was not the only country pressing for the escape to be closed west of Mosul. Russia, another powerful Assad ally, also wanted to block any possible movement of militants into Syria, said Hashemi. The Russian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

One of Assad's biggest enemies, France, was also concerned that hundreds of fighters linked to attacks in Paris and Brussels might escape. The French have contributed ground and air support to the Mosul campaign.

A week after the campaign was launched, French President Francois Hollande said any flow of people out of Mosul would include "terrorists who will try to go further, to Raqqa in particular".

Still, the battle plan did not foresee closing the road to the west of Mosul until Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi agreed in late October to despatch the Popular Mobilisation militias.

"The government agreed to Iran's request, thinking that it would take a long time for the Hashid to get to the road to Syria, and during that time the escape route would be open and the battle would still proceed as planned," Hashemi said.
The Hashid move to cut the western corridor was announced on Oct. 28, 11 days after the start of the wider Mosul campaign. Fighters made swift progress, sweeping up from a base south of Mosul to seal off the western route out of the city.
Abadi "was surprised to see them reaching the road in just a few days," Hashemi said. "The battle has taken a different shape since then - no food, no fuel is reaching Mosul and Daesh (Islamic State) fighters are bent on fighting to the end.""


deborah said...

The whole article, bringing up also the terrible situation for the civilians trapped inside.

Here is a blurb from South Front, of ProporNot fame:

"On December 6, government forces took control of the neighborhoods of Sheikh Lutfi and Marjeh. On December 7, the Syrian army and its allies liberaed the Old Aleppo and entered the areas north and east of the Aleppo Citadel.

Member groups Jaish al-Fatah and Fatah Halab militant coalitions announced that they are ready to withdraw from the city under a deal with the government.

A large group of militants already surrendered to government forces."

AprilApple said...

What a mess.

edutcher said...

Better we stay out of it.

deborah said...

"A U.S.-led international coalition is providing air and ground support.

Trooper York said...

Why is it our problem?

Every dead Syrian is one less potential rapist or terrorists.

deborah said...

I think foreign policy is fascinating. It shouldn't be our problem, and I hope Trump sticks to joining Russia and the ME to destroy ISIS, then get out. Let Russia and China take care of policing the area. They are the ones, plus Europe, who are most affected by Jihadists.

Methadras said...

People are so fucking scared of a scorched earth policy that they would rather nibble at the edges of war instead of win.

deborah said...

Encircling Mosul so civilians are caught in urban warfare is not scorched earth but it is hellish. But the lesser of several evils.