Militant Islamist fighters on a tank take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. Reuters
Charlie Winter, The Atlantic: How the Islamic State Is Spinning the Mosul Battle
As the group sheds territory, its propaganda wing has been forced to come up with a new storyline.
On the morning of October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the launch of the operation to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State. In the hours that followed, Kurdish Peshmerga claimed to have seized no fewer than nine villages and 200 square kilometers of territory. By lunchtime on day two, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition went as far as to say that the offensive was “on or ahead of schedule.”
Unsurprisingly, the Islamic State’s version of events read very differently. While its official media team conceded that the group had faced a large attack near Mosul on Monday morning, that was about all its propaganda shared with the mainstream news narrative. Indeed, while the peshmerga were counting up their captured kilometers at the end of the first day, the Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency was claiming that the reports were all false, and that it had, contrary to the lies peddled by the “crusader” media, managed to “absorb the momentum” of the encroaching forces before subsequently “repelling” them.
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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 20, 2016
Marching on Mosul: Iraq’s second-largest city will be liberated from Islamic State. But at what cost, and with what result? -- The Economist
These 5 Cities Matter Most in the Fight Against ISIS -- Ian Bremmer, Time
In Mosul, the End Is the Beginning -- Reva Goujon, Stratfor
Mosul battle could cause a 'human catastrophe' -- Zena Tahhan & Salam Khoder, Al Jazeera
How Mosul could redefine a key part of Obama's legacy -- Howard LaFranchi, CSM
Iran Pushing the Boundaries -- Will Fulton, Cipher Brief
Duterte’s pivot: Is the Philippines, until now a staunch American ally, falling into the Chinese camp? -- The Economist
Why the Philippines’ pivot from the US to China is unusual -- Xuan Loc Doan, Asia Times
What will Rodrigo Duterte's pivot toward China mean for the US? -- Peter Ford, CSM
Libya in chaos five years after the death of Moammar Gadhafi -- Matthias von Hein, DW
Libyans Would Have Preferred Hillary Clinton Kept Her 'Smart Power' Away From Their Country -- Anthony L. Fisher, Reason
What a sting on a regional governor says about how the Kremlin wins elections -- Svetlana Reiter and Jack Stubbs, Reuters
Why we lost the Brexit vote -- Daniel Korski, Politico
European Defence: This time, could they really mean it? -- Nick Witney, European Council on Foreign Relations
Venezuela Exports Its Crisis -- Mac Margolis, Bloomberg
Ukraine and Syria Are in U.S. Election Limbo -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg