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History, Geography, & Military Discuss Iraqi and Kurdish Troops Launch Operations to Liberate Mosul From ISIS at the Political Forums; Iraq: Operation to Liberate Mosul from ISIS Begins Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of military operations to ...

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Old 10-16-2016, 11:29 PM
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Default Iraqi and Kurdish Troops Launch Operations to Liberate Mosul From ISIS

Iraq: Operation to Liberate Mosul from ISIS Begins
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of military operations to liberate the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants on Monday, launching the country on its toughest battle since American troops left nearly five years ago.
State TV aired a brief statement in the early hours Monday announcing the start of the widely anticipated military offensive to drive IS out of Iraq’s second-largest city.
“These forces that are liberating you today, they have one goal in Mosul which is to get rid of Daesh and to secure your dignity. They are there for your sake,” he told the city’s residents, using an alternate name for the militant group. “God willing, we shall win.”
The thuds of sporadic artillery shelling rumbled across the rolling Nineveh plains in the direction of Mosul, witnesses said. State TV broadcast patriotic music within minutes of the announcement.
The push to retake Mosul will be the biggest military operation in Iraq since American troops left in 2011 and, if successful, the strongest blow yet to the Islamic State. A statement on Al-Abadi’s website pledged the fight for the city marked a new phase that would lead to the liberation of all Iraqi territory from the militants this year.

Iraqi forces have been massing around the city in recent days. They include members of the elite special forces, who are expected to lead the charge into the city itself.

Mosul is home to more than a million civilians. The city fell to IS fighters during a lightning charge in June 2014 that left nearly a third of Iraq in militants’ hands and plunged the country into its most severe crisis since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
After seizing Mosul, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi visited the city to declare an Islamic caliphate that at one point covered nearly a third of Iraq and Syria.

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Old 04-11-2017, 07:31 PM
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Angry Re: Iraqi and Kurdish Troops Launch Operations to Liberate Mosul From ISIS

Jihadis have no respect for women and children...

Iraqi Officials: ISIS 'Massacred' Civilians Escaping Mosul
8 Apr 2017 | The Kurdistan Region Security Council said ISIS had “massacred 140 civilians” trying to escape on Monday and Tuesday.
Islamic State militants this week executed scores of civilians trying to flee west Mosul and hanged some of their bodies from utility poles, Iraqi officials said Friday. On Twitter, the Kurdistan Region Security Council said the jihadis had "massacred 140 civilians" who were trying to escape to areas held by Iraqi security forces on Monday and Tuesday. "Some bodies were later hung on electrical poles in [the] Islah Zirai and Tanak neighborhoods, others were taken to nearby front lines," the security council tweeted from an official account.

The fight for Iraq's second largest city, which militants have held since 2014, has been grinding on for more than five months as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have faced snipers, mortars and suicide car bomb attacks. Iraqi forces have surrounded the city and cut off militants' escape route to Syria. The news of this week's executions comes as ISIS has reportedly started sacrificing civilians to repel the Iraqi advance. Militants have been threatening civilians to hold the populace in the city, in part to complicate the government's offensive. They have executed some civilians as examples and fired small arms and mortars at fleeing men, women and children.

Women and children wait for transportation to camps for people displaced from Mosul, Iraq, on March 8. More than 300,000 civilians have fled the offensive in Mosul.

Brig. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, a coalition deputy commanding general in Irbil, said on Monday that Iraqi troops recently found the bodies of nine beheaded Iraqis at a traffic circle with a sign threatening more executions of anyone caught fleeing the militants' self-styled caliphate. Recovered ISIS propaganda and interviews with fleeing residents indicate militants told civilians that Kurdish forces, Shiite militias and international troops would kill or imprison them if they fled. But more than 300,000 civilians are currently displaced after fleeing the offensive, which began in October. Roughly 150,000 have escaped the city since the campaign moved into the western half of the city in February.

Still, roughly 600,000 civilians remain. The United Nations estimated late last month that about 400,000 people are still "trapped" in the dense Old City, where streets are narrow and winding, and troops have been fighting in close-quarters urban combat. This week's executions came as Richardson and other U.S. officials announced that ISIS has adopted a new "sinister" tactic meant to slow the Iraqi advance by sidelining the coalition air and artillery support that enables them. "They brought the civilians back into the fight," Richardson said of the militants. "They're actually telling them to stay in the neighborhoods," he said. Richardson is one of a few officers charged with approving precision strikes in support of the Iraqis.

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Old 06-19-2017, 02:16 AM
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Question Re: Iraqi and Kurdish Troops Launch Operations to Liberate Mosul From ISIS

Will ISIS splinter into multiple extremist groups?...

Why the death of ISIS’s leader could spell trouble
June 16, 2017 - If Baghdadi is indeed dead, it will cripple ISIS, but it could also lead to a resurgence of an even more dangerous al-Qaeda
The news of the possible death of the leader of the so-called Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, no doubt filled most people with a certain sense of relief. It’s not often the death of a human being elicits such an emotion but Baghdadi, most sane people can agree, barely makes the homo sapiens cut. Nonetheless, our collective exhale may be premature. According to the Russian defence ministry, Baghdadi may have been caught by a Russian airstrike targeting a meeting of senior ISIS commanders south of Raqqa, the capital of the group’s self-declared caliphate, at the end of May. He was reportedly killed along with 30 other mid-level ISIS commanders and 300 fighters.

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. There had previously been reports on social media that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would make his first public appearance since his Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) changed its name to the Islamic State and declared him caliph. The Iraqi government denied that the video, which carried Friday's date, was credible. It was also not possible to immediately confirm the authenticity of the recording or the date when it was made.

Putting aside the neatly rounded death toll figures, there are a few details which cast doubt on the reports. Why, for instance, are the Russians only now disclosing the alleged death, more than two weeks after the airstrike, adding they have not confirmed if it is true? If it is still unconfirmed, one would expect them to withhold information until more is known. Secondly, the location does not jibe with intelligence reports that Baghdadi was laying low in the desert along the Syrian-Iraqi border. This is what Iraqi intelligence officials told me recently and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed shortly after the Russian announcement. “The information is that, as of the end of last month, Baghdadi was in Deir al-Zor, in the area between Deir al-Zor and Iraq, in Syrian territory,” Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory’s director said.

Regardless, most experts agree Baghdadi will be killed at some point, if he isn’t dead already. The last time he made a public statement was November last year, when he released an audio message calling on his fighters to hold ground against the advancing Iraqi army in Mosul, even as he himself made a dash for the desert. The question is: what will his death mean for ISIS and the broader jihadist enterprise?

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