Monday, February 29, 2016

The Battle For Mosul Is Now Underway

Kevin Baron, Defense One: The Battle for Mosul Has Begun

ISIS is under air, ground, and cyber attack as Iraqi and coalition troops encircle the group’s final stronghold in Iraq, the Joint Chiefs chairman says.

WASHINGTON — The battle for Mosul ultimately will be the biggest U.S. operation in Iraq since the end of the last war.

That was Monday’s message from Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, who said multinational forces have begun to cut off the city’s supply and communications lines, and to encircle and isolate Islamic State fighters with cyber and air and ground attacks. Some coalition forces are already going after ISIS inside Mosul, and the final thrust to retake it should be expected sooner than the distant future, Dunford said.

Carter and Dunford spoke just a few days after President Barack Obama said he directed the military to continue to “accelerate” the war against ISIS “on all fronts.”

Read more ....

More News On The Battle For Mosul

Dunford: Counter-ISIL Shaping Operations Have Begun in Mosul -- US Department of Defense
U.S. says will ramp up support for Mosul fight (Video) -- Reuters
U.S. will expand, improve support for Iraq's Mosul operation -- AP
US troops to step up support for Iraqi forces in Mosul -- The Hill
US expects to give Iraq more support for Mosul fight: US defense chief -- Reuters
Over 30 ISIS jihadis killed in U.S. strikes near Mosul -- ARA News
US expanding its role in the push to retake Mosul -- Euronews


James said...

If true this is a surprise. Perhaps Lazslo could bring us up to date.

Don Bacon said...

"The Battle for Mosul Has Begun"
More PR.
President Barack Obama said he directed the military to continue to “accelerate” the war against ISIS “on all fronts.”
With what, the non-existent US "coalition?"
Mosul is Sunni, so the Kurds and the Shia militias aren't interested, the Iraqi Army is worthless thanks to the US, so who else is there. A few hundred American snake-eaters who don't know the terrain, the people nor the language? That's the "coalition?"
Forget it, any time soon. And forget whatever Dunford says. (He said the F-35 was combat capable, for example.)

mlacix said...

When I first read the title of this article, I was sceptical, but reading it, it's not that bad. I never hid that I liked parts of the US operations in Iraq against IS, but they made some point here which is not just about PR or lies/decoy. We (and in general just everyone) count a military operation started, when at least the ground forces started to move in, however Carter include the "preparation" part too. All the work those soldiers doing in the back, just call it sabotage operations, are very important, there are countless example on how successfull those are. Yet we still do not see the firework, and I expect to not see it any soon, just like Carter said, but the plans are there.

One thing I learned from my first job, is to never use the word "soon" for any reason, because everyone will expect whatever they want. In the current military situation, the fighting capacity of "coalitional" forces on the ground are zero, if we talking about operations amde in urban warfare areas, like inside Mosul. Luckly there are other thigns, like diverting strategies, which with you can "suck" forces from an area to another, because repositioning a key in every war (more likely in wars where the quality forces are rare). It's not that there are no strategy exist which with Mosul is being liberated this year, but is there a will to do it so (with that strategies). I still do think that Mosul just a diverting move, but we got enough examples to learn from the unexpected result of divertions, because it's always depend on the enemywhat they think ( and with current media use, they doing well to confuse everyone ), and if they a paranoid parrot enough, well you can guess.

I will not start guessing what could be a working way, we already discussed this in January, and things so far did not changed majorly. As I often say, there is no thing to worry on, the situation will be fine, and we will see and interestingly developing strategy in Iraq. Even if it's won't be huge, fast, or on the top, but at least it's developing.

James: As soon as I smell something in the air in Iraq, I will yell in a comment, under an article related to Iraq.

James said...

Hey Laszlo,
These days they like to call it battle space preparation, awhile back it was called working up your strategy. Yeah, I think now the Ramadi operation and the Mosul talk is part of fixing ISIS forces so they won't reinforce the Syrian arena.
For a group that lives and dies by "initiative" ISIS strangely enough seems to have lost it. Whether from operational necessity or just being dumb I don't know. There's been some bombing in the Baghdad area, but I think that's just harassment. Maybe they have (like the Shia militias at Ramadi) reached their geo-political limits of effectiveness? Mark my words Deir ez Zor is key to Raqqa and Mosul.
Hah, I know what you mean by using the word "soon", also never ever answer a call for volunteers from a drill instructor.

mlacix said...

Deir ez Zor could be a key, but for it to being one, need to reach it from both South (SAA) and North (Kurds), because the besieged SAA forces in the city are not capable to make any "cut-off" operation in the area. For this to happen, first need a larger buildup on the North (which I did not seen yet), and the liberation of Tadmur (and the East Homs deser areas) on the South. Now these are the steps which are missing now, and I may see some chance for the South, but Kurds got their attention in other areas. For Iraqi forces to reach the city, it's currently an "impossible" kinda thing, it's out of range in every way.

With the recent operations in Aleppo, made by SAA, created new possibilities in the fight against IS. With Kurds they can encircle (if we do not count Turkish as a some way supporter of IS) IS forces in North Aleppo , with an East-West operation. They also could advance further Tabqa AB, clear East Homs desert, or Tadmur. But the mot important thing is, that every of the above operations would put Raqqa in a direct danger. Kurds advance North from Raqqa, at least for me does effect nothing. I doubt that they will make any direct operation on the city before SAA arrive. But more like they could continue to connect the areas they own on the North, from Hasakie to areas around Nubl and Zara. I expect it to happen so, because them standing on the side of SAA was not for free, and with this they could have a 750km long and 50-100km wide united land under their control (plus the areas inside Turkey), which making a good start for a standalon country or big authonomy. However Turkey (wuth Saudi Arabia) will reach to any step toward this direction, so expect more border tension, and armed confrontations. This summer, we gonna see some very dangerious political moves by every side, I'm sure on that.

James said...

" This summer, we gonna see some very dangerious political moves by every side, I'm sure on that."
You've got that right!
Talk to you later.