Voice Of America: IS Takes to Ancient Strategy as Battle for Mosul Looms
Reeling from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and battlefield defeats by Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the Islamic State (IS) is resorting to an ancient defense strategy as a massive battle looms to eject the militants from Mosul.
The tactics are drawn from the “Battle of the Trench,” a story narrated from Islamic history texts in which the Islamic Prophet Muhammad led 3,000 defenders of Medina to prevail over 10,000 Arab and Jewish troops in 627 A.D.
IS fighters are using the ancient tale -- a highly significant religious moment for many Muslims around the world -- to rally followers worldwide via internet posts and social media accounts.
The size of the force left to defend IS’s last remaining stronghold in Iraq has been cut by as much as two-thirds, U.S. military officials say, leaving only 3,000 to 4,500 fighters left in Mosul, U.S. officials say. A U.S.-aided Iraqi and Kurdish assault on Mosul could begin in October, according to reports.
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WNU Editor: I doubt that what the ISIS commanders can gleam from the Koran will be enough to stop the military push that is coming there way. But it is just more evidence on the deep Islamic roots of this group, and why the battle of ideas will be just as important as the liberation of Mosul will be when the Islamic State is finally routed.