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Mystery Gunmen Attack ISIS Radio Station in Mosul

According to the Kurdish news agency Rudaw, two unknown gunmen carried out a hit-and-run attack on the Islamic State’s radio station in Mosul this weekend.

Although word of the attack came through the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Kurds did not directly claim responsibility for the attack on the al-Bayan radio station. According to a KDP spokesman, there were no casualties, and the gunmen got away clean, leaving the Islamic State to hunt them across the city. It sounds as if the attackers might have pulled off a drive-by shooting and riddled the outside of the radio station with bullets, rather than making a serious effort to take it off the air entirely.

“Al-Bayan radio network airs a news/talk format and broadcasts in Arabic, Kurdish, English, French and Russian. The ISIS radio station has been framed as ‘highly professional’ and compared to NPR and the BBC for tone and quality,” Rudaw reports. “Early in April ISIS launched English-language radio news bulletins on Al-Bayan. Al-Bayan’s reporting on the group’s military operations and propaganda has been referenced by the Associated Press and the Washington Post.”

The Washington Post has more information from Iraq’s parliamentary report on the fall of Mosul, which offers some insight on how the city was taken so quickly and easily by the Islamic State, becoming the caliphate’s Iraqi capital with most of its infrastructure intact: “The top Iraqi army officer for Mosul remained on vacation last summer despite repeated warnings that Islamic State militants were planning to seize the city, and his units had less than a third of the soldiers they were supposed to have on the day of the battle.”

ISIS was arguably more organized inside Mosul than the Iraqis were: “the Islamic State, meanwhile, had been running a highly organized, mafia-style operation in the city in the months and years before the attack, extending its grip and boosting its finances. By the time Mosul fell, the group was earning $11 million a month in extortion and racketeering, the report said.”

Not only has the Obama administration’s big talk about launching a major summer offensive to retake Mosul evaporated like the morning dew, but there is little progress toward even recapturing the later ISIS conquest of Ramadi. Allegations are surfacing that the administration has been less than completely honest about the progress of the war effort.

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