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World View: Iraq, Islamic State and the West prepare for the Great Battle for Mosul

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • France’s aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle begins assault on ISIS in Mosul
  • UN says Mosul could be ‘largest man-made disaster in many years’

France’s aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle begins assault on ISIS in Mosul

A Rafale fighter jet takes off from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. (AFP)
A Rafale fighter jet takes off from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. (AFP)

On Friday, 24 Dassault Rafale jet fighters operating from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean began striking targets belonging to the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) in Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq (behind Baghdad). Each jet was reportedly armed with four 250kg laser-guided bombs, and one sortie was carried out roughly every three minutes.

According to a military spokesman, the airstrikes “have targeted military commanders, administration officials, foreign fighter facilitators, amirs, security commanders, communication leaders, and senior shura council leadership.” The Charles de Gaulle is on its third mission since February 2015 in support of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

France is stepping up its attacks on ISIS targets near Mosul in preparation for the Great Battle for Mosul, which officials from Iraq, Britain and France have all suggested could begin around mid-October.

The Pentagon is preparing with a new deployment of US forces to Iraq. The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that it was deploying 615 additional US soldiers to Iraq in preparation for the recapture of Mosul, bringing the number of US troops authorized for Iraq to over 5000.

ISIS is also preparing for battle. After ISIS first entered Mosul in June 2014, it boasted about the fact that it was removing all the concrete barriers that the Iraqi army had placed around Mosul because they were no longer needed. Now ISIS is moving the concrete barriers back into place.

ISIS is also digging a trench, measuring two meters in depth and width, on one side of the concrete barriers. This was inspired by the Battle of the Trench, in 627. Mohammed and his army were in Medina, and an alliance of Jews and tribes from Mecca attacked Medina. The attack failed because Mohammed’s army dug a trench around Medina, which nullified the invader’s cavalry.

The trenches that ISIS is building will not surround the entire city. The trenches supposedly connected to a network of secret tunnels ISIS is building to aid in fighting a guerrilla war inside the city.

There are some 1.8 million people in Mosul. Even if the Great Battle for Mosul begins in two or three weeks, as some officials are suggesting, it will not end quickly. Estimates are that it will not be over until mid or late 2017. France 24 and AFP and Long War Journal and The Hill

UN says Mosul could be ‘largest man-made disaster in many years’

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Iraq director Bruno Geddo warned that up to one million people could need assistance. According to Geddo:

Mosul has the potential to be one of the largest man made disasters for many, many years. More than a million could be displaced as a result of the forthcoming offensive.

We are planning for at least 700,000 who will be in need of assistance, shelter, food, water, everything that you need in a situation of humanitarian disaster.

The UN agency is hoping to have 11 camps finished by the end of the year with the capacity to hold 120,000 people, while Iraqi authorities expect to be able to house 150,000 more, he explained. Deutsche Welle and Al Bawaba

Related Stories

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Iraq, Mosul, France, Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, Dassault Rafale jet fighter, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Mohammed, Battle of the Trench, Bruno Geddo, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR
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