ISIL Boasts: America will go down to defeat in the Streets of Mosul

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

AFP is reporting that a news agency linked to Daesh (ISIS, ISIL), “A`maq,” is carrying a video of a Daesh fighter who swears that he and his colleagues will inflict a decisive defeat on the US in Iraq, as the guerrillas spread through the streets of the city. He addresses the camera saying, “As for you, America, we promise you that which our honored elders promised you, God bless them, such as Abu Mus`ab (al-Zarqawi) and Abu `Umar and Abu Hamza [etc.].”

The threats don’t make any sense. The US does not have infantry combat troops at the front lines, and is mainly intervening with fighter jets and bombers. If you are a small guerrilla group, you really cannot match that firepower. There is no obvious way in which Daesh could inflict harm on the US in Mosul.

Alarabiya reports that the Iraqi army on Tuesday entered the al-Hamdaniya district of Mosul, heading for the city’s downtown. The most difficult issue facing the advancing army is ensuring the safety of the some one million civilians trapped in the northern Iraqi metropolis.

In contrast, the Kurdistan Peshmerga or national guard for the Iraqi Kurdish superprovince took seven villages near Mosul. After that it got bogged down in the advance on Mosul from the northeast by Daesh booby-traps.

Alarabiya reports that the media-savvy Daesh has activated a cyber-army of keyboard supporters and social media fundamentalists to support the organization as the attack on Daesh proceeds.

This is so despite the Daesh cut-off of the internet and social media in Mosul itself. Daesh sympathizers are asking the organization’s acolytes on the internet to lend their support from the outside. Many anonymous accounts are representing themselves as inside Mosul, but these are for the most part lies. (The videotape discussed at the beginning of this piece likely is part of this propaganda message.)

Russia and Syria are afraid that the Iraqis will allow the militants to escape from Mosul to Raqqa, their Syrian capital, and so would reinforce the capabilities of Daesh in Syria. The Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria still dreams of reconquering all Syria, including Raqqa, and this development will make that pipe dream even more of a stretch.

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Related video:

On the road to Mosul with Iraqi forces – BBC News

6 Responses

  1. A defeat for those the US is actively supporting is a defeat for the US objective and, although a small guerilla group cannot match great firepower, it can drive the humanitarian situation up to and even beyond what troubles the world in Aleppo. In fact some are already asking what is the difference, a question from Tuesday’s DOS briefing. *

    Q: He [Josh Earnest – White House spokesman] said this: They, ISIL, are killing civilians all the time, so the idea that somehow the Iraqi Security Forces should delay this operation because of their concern about the humanitarian situation in Mosul, that doesn’t make sense, end quote. The US. view for eastern Aleppo, as I understand it, is that going after terrorists there is not worth the suffering of civilians. Why the difference in U.S. reaction or approach, please?

    A: …the Iraqi Government is coordinating with regional governments on the ground and with police forces and other security forces to ensure that there’s a system in place to deal with those civilians who might be – might have to flee the violence in Mosul.

    Precisely because the US has determined to play a background role it would appear to have no ultimate control over the attack, and although the US insists this is an Iraqi Government operation and it is in charge, and by extension in control, many have doubts how realistic that may prove to be at a practical level.

    * link to state.gov

    • Les forces de sécurité irakiennes ont lancé lundi une offensive d’ampleur pour reprendre Mossoul, deuxième ville d’Irak aux mains des jihadistes de l’organisation État islamique depuis juin 2014. Les ONG et des acteurs politiques s’inquiètent du sort de quelque 1,5 million de civils coincés dans la ville et estiment que l’Irak n’est pas en mesure de gérer le défi humanitaire de leur exode.

      link to observers.france24.com

  2. Daesh can win this by denying our side victory. We have been here before; that is what happened last time.

    What happens when the Iraqi army refuses to do the door to door fighting as required to take a city (like last time)? What happens if the militias enter the city and engage in atrocities (like last time)? Will we say “not our fault” (like last time)?

    Even if we do get something called “victory” by killing everyone associated with Daesh it will only be temporary. Until the underlying dispute between Suni and Shia is resolved this battle will be fought again. And we. as westerners. can play only a minimal role in that.

    These are not out battles, we contribute nothing except for guns. It is time for us to get out.

  3. ISIS will turn into a terrorist group like al Qaeda so that we will see a lot of car bombs, attacks on mosques and the like. But it will no longer present a real threat to the Iraq government’s control of its territory, as long as the Iraq government doesn’t go and screw things up again like they did with al Maliki. Having studied developing countries a lot I have concluded that the importance of political leadership cannot be overstated. So often when we see countries devolve into instability or chaos it is because of venality, selfishness, stupidity, or tribal/ethnic warfare by the ruling elites. There aren’t too many George Washingtons out there. Let’s hope the Iraqi Shiites have learned something.

  4. This is a amalgam of groups with different agenda. It’s far from the organized front that’s displayed in the mainstream. The Kurds want to shore up its minority population in the city. The Sunnis want to protect their own, Shia militia and Iraqi army got its goals. Even Turkey got a force not too far from Mosul. The US’ air-power will probably be the decisive factor, which means the city could end up in shambles like Ramadi! This will be a real complex operation, that will probably lead to further disintegration of the country, more than the end to this barbaric, nihilist group. I haven’t even mentioned the humanitarian crisis of the one million plus civilians in the city!

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