Mosul Offensive Has Begun

 In Foreign, Military

The long awaited Mosul offensive began Monday. Iraqi, Peshmerga, and militia forces, backed by coalition airstrikes and American support personnel started clearing out villages of ISIS fighters. Officials expect the battle to retake Mosul will last from weeks to about 2 months.

“There are Americans in harm’s way as part of this fight. They’re in a support role. It’s fair to say there are Americans on the outskirts of the city.” Peter Cook, Pentagon Spokesman

Cook declined to elaborate on the number of troops in “harm’s way.”  Army Lt. General Stephen Townsend stated that they would be using “a wide range of coalition capabilities, including air support, artillery, intelligence, advisers and forward air controllers.”

RT tweeted that at least 9 villages were cleared in less than 24 hours. The front line of the fighting is now approximately 20 miles from Mosul after the Peshmerga advance.

According to Military Times,

The large and complex battle for Mosul is expected to last weeks or months. It will involve more than 25,000 troops, including the Iraqi army, the Kurdish peshmerga, Sunni tribal fighters and Shiite militias. The U.S. military is providing air support and playing a supporting role on the ground.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said the operation was proceeding as planned and that Iraqi forces were making “excellent progress.”

“There’s no pause in efforts to liberate Mosul. Troops are on the move on various axes of advance toward the city,” said Col. John Dorrian. “Some commanders have reached their objectives ahead of schedule after encountering light-to-moderate resistance.”


The conflicts between factions fighting in this advance are openly hostile. Turkish troops say they are there at the request of Iraq, but Iraq denies it and has demanded that Turkey get out. Turkey has ignored the demand.

Iraqis and the Peshmerga hold conflicting stories of who did what when, and whether or not they have halted the campaign to retake Mosul.The ISIS fighters, meanwhile, conduct suicide attacks particularly near the Kurdish troops.

The Shi’a militias don’t like the Sunni tribes, so the definition of “fighting together” against ISIS is …interesting. Can they hold together through this offensive?

“Light to moderate resistance”

The elephant in the room is the “light to moderate resistance” remark. Are the ISIS fighters dispersing to Europe?

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