Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Obaid Karki's Painful Politics: They’re sitting ducks, if they stay back, tending wounds & guarding ghost’s towns than hit and run.

الي لقاء في كربلا يامقحبة مقتدي
در كربلا اب نبود بيبسي كولا بود
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2016 — As of yesterday, Iraqi forces have taken an estimated 800 square kilometers from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the battle for the city that began Oct. 17, U.S. officials told reporters today at a Pentagon briefing.
Speaking on background, they said the battle to retake Mosul from ISIL has seen good initial gains and is proceeding as planned, as U.S. advisers continue to be embedded with Iraqi forces, providing advice behind the frontlines from mobile headquarters that move as the frontlines shift.
Whether directly or indirectly, the vast majority of the thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq are supporting the effort to retake Mosul, they said.
Progress Expected to Slow Closer to Mosul
The operation will move at the pace of forces on the ground, the officials said, and fighting is expected to intensify as the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces move closer to the dense, urban environment of Mosul where they will be dealing with the complexities of a crowded, urban environment and a substantial defense from the enemy.
Mosul is the most heavily defended city in Iraq, the officials explained, with obstacles including t-walls, berms, trenches and fields of improvised explosive devices.
ISIL is ceding territory as the counter-ISIL forces continue their advance toward Mosul, the officials noted, and is expected to try to divert attention away from its movements, with those tactics already including suicide attacks, vehicle bombs and deliberately set structure fires.
(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter @FerdinandoDoD)

Peshmerga forces 5 miles from Iraq's Mosul in key battle against ISIS

CNN - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
ISIS executed about 40 people celebrating the "liberation" of their villages by Iraqi forces, a Mosul official said. Dozens of ISIS militants were killed in the Peshmerga push to Mosul'soutskirts; Two Christian towns -- Hamdaniya and Bartella -- were ...

Pentagon Expects Mosul Push to Unlock Trove of ISIS Intelligence

New York Times - ‎Oct 22, 2016‎
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is sending dozens of additional intelligence analysts to Iraq to pore over a trove of information that is expected to be recovered in the offensive to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State, data that could offer new clues ...

Mosul offensive: ISIS kills hundreds of men and boys, Iraqi source says

CNN - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
"Life will be restored to normal in the next few hours" Karim said Sunday, adding that security checkpoints in the city would be reopened. He did not mention how many security forces and civilians were killed in the ISIS offensive. What's happening in ...

Darkness at Noon: ISIS Sets Oil and Sulfur Fires in the Battle for Mosul

TIME - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
Here in the Iraqi town of Qayyarah, in the desert south of Mosul, the sun is an orange orb burning through a screen of black and gray clouds that cover the sky. The sky at midafternoon is the color of dusk, and the air is painful to breathe. Retreating ...

Turkey's Push to Join Battle for Mosul Inflames Tension With Iraq

New York Times - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
ERBIL, Iraq — A dispute between Iraq and Turkey has emerged as a dramatic geopolitical sideshow to the complicated military campaign to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, from the Islamic State. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has ...

What happens to ISIS after it loses Mosul?

CNN - ‎Oct 24, 2016‎
Others, such as former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, are keen to strengthen Baghdad's position, and are therefore against affording too much autonomy to the provinces. This debate on federalism is expected to continue even after ISIS loses control of ...

Ash Carter: Mosul support plan needed after ISIL ousted

USA TODAY - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
The arduous task of wresting the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State militants will ultimately be completed and a stabilization plan must be developed, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Sunday. Carter visited the Kurdish capital of Irbil in ...

Mosul offensive: Turkish and Kurdish forces launch attacks on IS

BBC News - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
Kurdish forces have carried out new attacks on positions of so-called Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq to retake the town of Bashiqa, near Mosul. Kurdish Peshmerga commanders said they made large advances into IS territory and secured part of a ...

The Islamic State After Mosul

New York Times - ‎Oct 24, 2016‎
After all, it was in Mosul that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — the city's leader for two years before he became the Islamic State's leader in 2010 — declared a caliphate from the pulpit of an iconic 12th-century mosque. If the Islamic State loses Mosul, the ...

Mosul: Turkey insists its forces 'cannot remain idle'

BBC News - ‎Oct 22, 2016‎
Turkey has insisted that its forces cannot remain idle during the fight to drive so-called Islamic State militants from the Iraqi city of Mosul. PM Binali Yildirim said it might be necessary to take action because Iraq and the US had not kept their ...

Iraqi forces advance near Mosul as ISIS attacks western town

Fox News - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
KHAZER, Iraq – Iraqi Kurdish forces pushed toward Mosul on Sunday, cordoning off eight villages and coming within 5 ½ miles of the northern city held by the Islamic State group, which staged an attack in a western town hundreds of miles away in an ...

Mosul offensive: ISIS militants fleeing to Syria, says tribal leader

CNN International - ‎Oct 24, 2016‎
Coalition forces celebrated better-than-expected territorial gains over the weekend and artillery fire pummeled ISIS positions in the encircled town of Bashiqa early Monday morning in the relentless push for Mosul. According to the Iraqi Joint ...

Flee or Stay? For Mosul Residents, Both Choices Are Risky

New York Times - ‎Oct 21, 2016‎
Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition have launched an assault to retake Mosuland surrounding areas from Islamic State militants. Civilians returned to their village south of Mosul on Friday after it was liberated. Credit Thaier Al ...

Battle of Mosul Has Bearing on Two Presidencies

Wall Street Journal - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
For President Barack Obama, Mosul is reverberating beyond his broader fight against Islamic State and into his legacy as a reluctant wartime president. It is an opportunity for Mr. Obama to secure a victory in a region that has given him few, but also ...

The battle for Mosul: The beginning of the end

Aljazeera.com - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
Typically they require huge numbers of troops, are painstakingly slow and result in high levels of casualties particularly among the civilian population. Yet, the Iraqi government is not fighting a conventional war and, as it prepares to wrest back ...

Defense Secretary Carter gets closer assessment of Mosul anti-ISIS fight

Fox News - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
IRBIL, Iraq – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited Irbil on Sunday for a closer assessment of the fight against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq and to hear from Kurdish leaders whose forces launched a new offensive in the operation to ...

Turkey-Iraq relations remain tense on Mosul

Fox News - ‎Oct 24, 2016‎
Iraq has objected to the presence of some 500 Turkish troops who are training Sunni Arab and Kurdish forces at a base near Mosul, saying they are there without permission from Baghdad. Turkey has refused to withdraw them, and insists it will play a ...

Iraqi forces launch new attack northeast of Mosul

Fox News - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
The forces taking part in the Mosul offensive include Iraqi troops, the peshmerga, Sunni tribal fighters and state-sanctioned Shiite militias. Many fear the operation could heighten tensions between Iraq's different communities, which are allied ...

US troops, embedded with Iraqi brigades and battalions, push toward Mosul'scity center

Military Times - ‎19 hours ago‎
One week into the battle for Mosul, U.S. troops are embedded with Iraqi battalion- and brigade-level units, pushing forward with mobile headquarters elements as the fight moves toward the dense city center, according to U.S. officials familiar with the ...

Mosul fight could send wave of terrorists home to Europe, officials warn

Fox News - ‎Oct 24, 2016‎
The U.S.-backed Iraqi operation to retake the Islamic State hub of Mosul could send thousands of fighters who traveled from Europe back home -- a process made easier as ISIS forges travel documents, European officials warned Sunday. ADVERTISEMENT.

Obama hoping for quick Mosul victory to validate ISIS strategy, boost Hillary Clinton

Washington Times - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
clouded: Islamic State fighters have ignited oil wells outside Mosul to create a smokescreen for U.S.-backed Iraqi and Kurdish forces. A successful liberation of Iraq's second-largest city would bolster President Obama's legacy of leading from behind.

Battle for Mosul: How ISIS is fighting to keep its Iraqi stronghold

CNN - ‎Oct 24, 2016‎
(CNN) One week into the battle for Mosul, and the vast coalition seeking to oust ISIS from Iraq's second city is making swifter than expected progress. But for all its gains -- 78 villages liberated, and nearly 800 ISIS fighters killed as of Monday ...

Mosul battle: Hundreds treated over toxic fumes in Iraq

BBC News - ‎Oct 22, 2016‎
The US military says IS fighters set the plant on fire earlier this week, as they fled an advance by pro-government forces on their Mosul stronghold. On Saturday, US soldiers at a base near Mosul donned protective masks as wind blew smoke towards them.

ISIS Fighters in Iraq Attack Kirkuk, Diverting Attention From Mosul

New York Times - ‎Oct 21, 2016‎
ERBIL, Iraq — Facing a broad offensive from Iraqi and Kurdish troops, the Islamic State has defended villages around Mosul with its signature tactics of suicide car attacks and roadside bombs. But on Friday morning, militants attacked the strategic ...

How will the battle for Mosul affect Iraq?

Aljazeera.com - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
The battle for Mosul is intensifying as Iraqi government forces and Kurdish troops edge closer towards the country's second-largest city. According to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) interior ministry, the Iraqi army is only five kilometres from ...

Battle for Mosul: Peshmerga seizes Bashiqa from ISIL

Aljazeera.com - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
Kurdish Peshmerga have taken the town of Bashiqa near Mosul from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as coalition forces pressed their offensive against the armed group's last urban stronghold in Iraq. A US official said Masoud Barzani ...

Iraqi Kurds Seize Town Near Mosul, As Offensive Presses On

Huffington Post - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
ERBIL, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Kurdish fighters said they had taken the town of Bashiqa near Mosulfrom Islamic State on Sunday as coalition forces pressed their offensive against the jihadists' last stronghold in Iraq. Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi ...

Iraq rejects Turkish role in Mosul battle, as forces advance toward city

Washington Post - ‎Oct 22, 2016‎
BAGHDAD — Iraq's prime minister on Saturday rejected the possibility of Turkish involvement in the current campaign to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State, just a day after Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced that he had reached an ...

Limited gains in first week of Iraq's Mosul offensive

Fox News - ‎Oct 23, 2016‎
KHAZER, Iraq – In the week since Iraq launched an operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group, its forces have pushed toward the city from the north, east and south, battling the militants in a belt of mostly uninhabited towns and villages.

The history of Mosul, in five maps

Washington Post - ‎Oct 21, 2016‎
In 1165, Benjamin of Tudela, a medieval Spanish Jewish traveler, approached the city of Mosulon the banks of the Tigris. A visitor, even a thousand years ago, could marvel at its antiquity. "This city, situated on the confines of Persia, is of great ...
Obaid Karki's Painful Politics: They’re sitting ducks, if they stay back, tending ...: الي لقاء في كربلا يامقحبة مقتدي در كربلا اب نبود بيبسي كولا بود BYE: MOSUL! HELLO: EU, UK & USA! WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2016 —...

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