ISIL sends families out of Mosul as Kurdish, Iraqi Army Forces advance

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Iraqi military forces have taken the strategic town of al-Qayarah near the major city of Mosul from Daesh (ISIS, ISIL). Mosul is the last major city in the hands of the apocalyptic, brutal cult as it has lost almost all the territory it took in 2014.

Al-Qayarah is 60 km from Mosul. Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, commander of Iraqi land forces, told France24, “we have established domination over the city from every side and have expeditiously cleared out pockets within it.” He added, “Military engineers are currently clearing the town of improvised explosive devices.”

The counter-terrorism units of the Iraqi army led the charge as they began their assault on al-Qayyarah on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi welcomed the victory, calling it an important step toward the liberation of Mosul. He looked forward to the day when Mosul would be rescued from the criminal gangs now terrorizing its population and would be returned to the bosom of the Iraqi nation.

The air above al-Qayarah turned black as Daesh saboteurs set fire to its oil wells.

Al-Quds al-Arabi reports that in the wake of the Iraqi military’s rapid advance into al-Qayarah and the beginning of the assault on Mosul itself, a source inside Mosul maintains that Daesh fighters took the unusual step of sending hundreds of their family members, as well as widows and orphans of those Daesh guerrillas killed at al-Qayyarah, out of the city with fake i.d.s. Most of these family members made it to al-Raqqa in eastern Syria over secret routes, or to Kirkuk, Salahudddin Province or even slipped in among the refugees headed for the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Aljazeera reports that as the Mosul campaign gears up there is increasing tension between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi army.

One source of tension was a communique issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s ministry of Peshmerga, which said that the Peshmerga would not obey orders from the Iraqi defense establishment.

PM al-Abadi ruffled feathers recently when he said that the Peshmerga would not be permitted to enter Mosul city.

Iraqi Kurdistan began with three Kurdish-majority provinces (Iraq had 18 provinces), but in summer of 2014, it unilaterally annexed the more mixed province of Kirkuk, subjecting its Arab and Turkmen populations. Kurdish nationalists have expressed a desire for Mosul, and it is controversial among Arab populations to have Kurdish fighters lead the charge.

Meanwhile, Rudaw is reporting that Usama al-Nujayfi, a prominent Mosul politician, is heading to Turkey for consultations at the end of this month. Sunni politicians are restive about their future place in Iraq once Daesh is rolled up as a territorial force.

Related video added by Juan Cole

EuroNews: Iraq forces retake key town south of Mosul

Posted in Featured,Iraq | 5 Responses | Print |

5 Responses

  1. Nationalist and militarist-imperialist tendencies among the varied Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen populations and interest groups of the region have long maneuvered towards a “final showdown” over which of them might be able to secure an uncontested victory of political-military supremacy in Mosul.

    (However, in actual practice, the American-European Allied victory in World War I and the subsequent regimes that have existed, largely within the boundaries written by outsiders, have prevented such a battle from ever taking place.)

    Now it appears that such a battle, involving already-armed and organized state forces and militias among the three major population groups in the area (Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen) and other minority populations, at a time when boundaries appear more liable to change than they have for a hundred years, may actually be forming up.

    As historians we know this means highly unpredictable results.

    It seems a good time to reflect on a key truth in human history: military conquests seldom result in actual economic growth and prosperity on their own. True prosperity over generations in an area is usually identified with peaceful urban centers in which different ethnic identities and economic interests can live productive lives, under a power structure that recognizes it must make use of all population segments, rather than aggrandizing some segments over others. (In other words, the power structure doesn’t have to be “democratic” necessarily, but it must be coalition-based and ultimately inclusive of the vast majority of population segments and sub-segments.)

  2. professor cole,
    have you figured out what the obama administration is doing to rebuild ramadi? are the people of tikrit back in their homes? is the trench around fallujah finished? what kind of preparations has obama made for the impending refugee crisis in mosul?

    it seems to me the only thing that has been completed is the trench. which is actually kind of israeli like.

  3. professor cole,
    how much does this blowing stuff up cost us daily? are we also paying for the rebuilding of the stuff we blow up? what is the total price tag of our never-ending iraq war at this point? i would be really interested in a study of the expenses.

Comments are closed.