Daily Beast: On the Ground as the Massive, High-Risk Attack on ISIS in Mosul Begins
The attack on Mosul would destroy the self-declared Islamic State’s last stronghold in Iraq, but it’s fraught with risks that could disrupt the American presidential campaign.
KHAZIR, Iraq—After months of preparation, the long-awaited battle for Mosul began in the early hours of Monday when Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga troops surged across the plains of northern Iraq toward the stronghold of the so-called Islamic State.
The timing of the offensive, determined by the Iraqi government based on logistical, tactical, and domestic political imperatives, could have an explosive effect on the U.S. elections. Combat is likely to drag on well beyond Nov. 8, when the Americans vote, so the potential for a victory that might benefit the candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is low, while the potential for military setbacks, humanitarian disasters, and terrorist counterstrikes that could be exploited by the campaign of businessman Donald Trump is high. But in any case the die is cast.
Read more ....
Update: How the battle for Mosul may unfold -- Tim Lister, CNN
WNU Editor: The outcome is not in doubt .... the Islamic State will be driven out of Mosul. What is not known is how long will this battle last .... and what will be the aftermath. My prediction .... this fight will continue after the U.S. Presidential election (and beyond), and a good part of the city will .... whent he fighting is finally over .... be destroyed. There will be bitterness and resentment on what has happened that will last for generations .... and across all sectarian lines. The war against the Islamic State will now shift to Syria .... and that fight shows no signs of ending.