Iraqi Planes on Mosul’s Sky, Vows Liberation soon

Iraqi Planes on Mosul’s Sky, Vows Liberation soon
Wed Mar 18, 2015 21:09:15

Iraqi planes dropped more than a million leaflets over Mosul overnight Wednesday urging civilians to collaborate against the ISIS ahead of a military push, the Defense Ministry said.

Addressed to “the people of Mosul,” the flier, copies of which were circulated online, promised that the city would be liberated soon. Qais Karim of the Defense Ministry’s media office said the air force’s C-130 Hercules planes made the drops to “mobilize the people.” Washingtonpost reports.

“Mosul is your city, Iraq is your Iraq,” a flier read. “Your armed forces are very close to you.”

It went on urge civilians to make a note of those working with the extremists.

“Watch their bases, record their infidel actions. Point out those who cooperate with them to destroy your ancient civilization,” it said.

"“After Tikrit, Anbar, and after Anbar, Mosul,” Hadi al-Amiri, the head of Iraq’s Badr Organization, a prominent Shiite armed group that has emerged as a powerful player on the battlefield, said in an interview Tuesday near the front lines in Salahuddin."

Karim said that there was no timeline for a Mosul offensive but that the city would be the next target after operations in Tikrit and the surrounding province of Salahuddin were completed.

Iraqi officials earlier had publicly pushed back against a U.S. official’s comments that an offensive could begin in April.

Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi on Tuesday held a meeting with field commanders to discuss the expected Mosul operation, the ministry said.

However, some of Iraq’s most influential security chiefs have said that Anbar is a more pressing concern.

“After Tikrit, Anbar, and after Anbar, Mosul,” Hadi al-Amiri, the head of Iraq’s Badr Organization, a prominent Shiite armed group that has emerged as a powerful player on the battlefield, said in an interview Tuesday near the front lines in Salahuddin.

He cited concerns that if the army collapses in Anbar’s population centers, including Ramadi and Haditha, local tribes that have fought the ISIS will be massacred.

“Therefore, it’s necessary to rush the Anbar operation,” Amiri said. That move also would cut enemy supply lines to Mosul, assisting any offensive there, he said.

The armed forces are advancing in parts of Anbar, pushing ISIS militants back in the town of Garma, west of Baghdad, though they remain under pressure in the provincial capital of Ramadi.

“Your brothers in Salahuddin taught [the Islamic State] a lesson they will never forget,” the leaflet said. “And so will you.”

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