In the middle East begins another major military operation against ISIS. On Monday morning, as stated, the Iraqi military is preparing to launch an assault on Mosul, one of the main cities captured by militants of the “Islamic state”. It would threaten hundreds of thousands of civilians, and it will be a direct analogy with the situation today around Aleppo.
Attack the Iraqi military in Mosul captured by militants of the “Islamic state” (IG*) can begin the morning of Monday, October 17, reported the television channel Sky News Arabia, citing official sources in Iraqi Kurdistan.
“People who are not involved in the conflict must be protected, schools, hospitals and homes also needs to be protected”
Meanwhile, the international Committee of the red cross (ICRC) called on all participants to distinguish between civilians and military targets. “People who are not involved in the conflict must be protected, as well as civil buildings, such as schools, hospitals and homes, must also be protected. The parties to the conflict must always be aware of this and to see the difference between them and military targets”, – said the representative of the Iraqi ICRC office Sarah al-Samkari, which is quoted by RIA “Novosti”. “This is what we are trying to encourage all parties involved in the conflict in Syria or Iraq,” she said.
“Half a million people can leave the city”
An ICRC representative recalled that the humanitarian situation in Iraq is extremely complex, there are more than 3 million displaced persons. “as soon As the operation (release – approx. OPINION) Mosul, we expect that hundreds of thousands of people left the city. The number can reach a million. That’s a big number, and all these people will need basic necessities: shelter, food, water, medicine. As soon as the operation starts, of course, people try to escape from violence,” stated al-Samkari. She added that the ICRC “may begin immediately food supply, temporary shelters and medicines in the same moment when the people will start to run (from the city). We have food and Essentials to nearly 300 thousand people”, – said al-Samkari.
Saturday night the Iraqi air force dropped on Mosul leaflets, which residents were warned about the imminent start of the operation to liberate the city from the terrorist group “Islamic state” (IG). “The time of victory. The time to praise pure of Iraq without ISIS or any questionable ideology,” reads one of the headlines of the leaflets which quoted the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. “We are preparing to begin operations to liberate Mosul and the return of security and stability in the region”, – reported in another header. Authorities urged residents not to panic, stay indoors and avoid certain parts of the city.
Earlier, the artillery of the United States and Iraq, as well as aircraft of the international coalition, including France, attacked Mosul before the main operation to liberate the city. A source in the security forces of Iraq reported that attacks are conducted to destroy selected targets before the start of a crucial operation. According to the source, in the area there is a greater presence of coalition aircraft.
“The artillery of the United States attacked targets ISIS, located near the center of Mosul,” said the captain units of the Kurdish militia in Northern Iraq Peshmerga Omer Huseyin, who was quoted by TASS. He also reported strikes by U.S. aircraft in the regions of concentration of militants in the Mosul area. The operation will begin “very soon”, warned the representative of the Ministry of Peshmerga of Iraqi Kurdistan, Halgurd Hikmat.
Mosul – the second largest city of Iraq, its population exceeds 500 thousand people. The liberation of the city – the main goal pursued by the Iraqi army in cooperation with Kurdish militia operation to restore control over the country. This town, the militants consider to be their stronghold and the Iraqi capital. After Mosul was captured by militants, government forces on 10 June 2014 left the city. According to the media, now concentrated in Mosul, at least 10 thousand fighters of the Islamic state group, including 2 thousand mercenaries from other countries.
Turkey and the Shiites do not want to be left out
According to the information available to TASS, in the event of a military campaign from the South to the city will be part of the Iraqi national police, from the East – a special unit to combat terrorism in the North – detachments of the Iraqi army with the support of Kurdish volunteers. Until recently, the Shiite militia took on the role of reserve, which should be deployed in the Northern province of Anbar, bordering Ninawah, and to ensure the advancement of the government forces to Mosul. The question of the participation of Shiites in the restoration of governmental control over the Sunni provinces of Iraq, the occupied IG, in particular over the city of Mosul remains the most painful in parliamentary and governmental circles of the country and still not resolved.
Aside from operations in Mosul did not want to stay and Turkey. Earlier, a military source channel CNN Turk reported that the Turkish military and the Shiite militia do not participate in ground operations. However, President Erdogan insists that Turkey intends to participate and in case of refusal of the coalition, Ankara has a plan B. Earlier, Iraqi authorities demanded that Turkey withdraw its troops, in response, Erdogan accused them of failing to deal with ISIS.
“We can show our partners in Mosul”
Given the huge number of civilians and the intersection of opposing interests, the operation in Mosul is at risk to go down in history as “the bloody chopper”, apart from the events in Aleppo, experts warn. Meanwhile, the West continues to pretend that violations of humanitarian law suffers only from Russia. Noting that foreign partners and then speak for our country, they say, around Aleppo often there are many humanitarian issues, President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said: “of course, We can now show our partners in Mosul and say, “keep in mind, and live here hundreds of thousands of people, it’s the city of one million. And the use of aircraft and artillery is very dangerous from the point of view of possible victims among the civilian population”.
The President added: “We hope that our American partners, in this case, and French partners, will be selective and will do all they can to minimise, and it is better to avoid victims among the civilian population.” According to the President, “we certainly do not intend to inflate about this hysteria, as do our partners in the West, because we understand that to fight terrorism you need and other way in addition to active combat, no.”
The ideal scenario Washington
Apparently, feeling bloody meat grinder and feel of the USA with Saudi Arabia. No wonder they are preparing a “transfer” of is militants from Iraq to Syria, said the portal EurAsia Daily, citing military-diplomatic sources in Moscow. According to them, strapped to the Iraqi assault on Mosul, government forces will provide terrorists safe passage to Deir ez-Zor. Indirect confirmation of this information is already given by the head of the Central command of the U.S. armed forces, Joseph Votel, who has previously said that the liberation of Mosul, “it is necessary to avoid haste and to combine military and political plans.” What is meant by such a “political-military combination”, not difficult to guess, said the portal.
He noted that to fight the terrorists the coalition is unprofitable: on the outskirts of Mosul, the militants have built several lines of defense with an extensive system of underground tunnels, some of which are thoroughly mined. Street battles in a large village, where every step the terrorists will be “human shields” of civilians – very undesirable scenario for those Americans. To avoid the overwhelming number of victims among the civilian population, taking Mosul without a fight and the withdrawal of the jihadists with their families in the Eastern region of Syria appear to be Washington and Riyadh the ideal scenario, said the portal.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”