Why U.S. Disagree with Iraq Winter Offensive in Mosul?

Why U.S. Disagree with Iraq Winter Offensive in Mosul?
Tue Dec 9, 2014 19:11:57

As many evidence show Iraqi official are preparing Mosul’s liberating plan, us warning and disagree with Iraq attack Daesh in Mosul before spring.

The Iraqi government has put together an armed force of 20,000 people to retake the province of Mosul from the ISIL Takfiri group, the head of Mosul's provincial council said on Monday. "The government has prepared its Liberating Mosul Plan, which brings together a special army of Iraqi troops, Peshmarga forces, and the Mosul governorate”.

The general commander of the armed forces and the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has issued an order to form a power to liberate Nineveh province from the presence of ISIS terrorist organization that dominated Mosul city, according to what has been announced by the MP for the Iraqi National Alliance, Hussain al-Maliki a few days ago.

Allied warplanes and Iraqi air force and ground troops are increasingly isolating ISIS militants in the captured city of Mosul, prompting Iraqi officials to push for a winter offensive to wrest control of the area months ahead of the previous schedule and over American warnings, New York Times reports.

The ground campaign to retake Iraq's second-largest city from the ISIS, also known as ISIL or IS, is still most likely many weeks away, American officials said.

Us official believed timing will depend on the pace of training for additional Iraqi ground troops to retake the city and for a holding force afterward, as well as sorting out a brewing dispute between Baghdad and Washington over whether Iraq is ready to carry out such a complex urban battle.

Iraqi and Peshmerga forces fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State group will soon have extra backup from coalition allies. The US military says a number of unspecified countries have agreed to contribute 1,500 troops, mostly for training – this on top of an extra 3,000 US troops President Obama has already authorised for deployment to Iraq.

The United States and its coalition partners have carried out more than 660 airstrikes in Iraq, making it more difficult for the ISIS to mass large numbers of forces or to travel in convoys but it is not so effective to stop ISIS.

These attacks, including air raids in the past few days and Iraqi ground operations in the north and west, have made it more difficult for the ISIS to resupply and reinforce its fighters in Mosul, which ISIS seized in June when it swept in from Syria and made its headquarters in Iraq.

But New York Times believed there is no indication that the militants have lost their fighting spirit, and there are still thousands of them. At least several hundred fighters are in and around Mosul, according to an American intelligence official.

Even if Iraqi forces oust the ISIS from their territory, the strategy would do nothing to deal with the militant group's safe haven in Syria. A successful campaign to counter the ISIS in Iraq might actually exacerbate the situation across the border if militants from Mosul and elsewhere simply return to Syria, where the Obama administration are not so eager to honestly fight terrorism.

American and Iraqi officials had previously confirmed that planning was underway for a broad military campaign to dislodge the ISIS from Iraq to begin in the spring. But these new indications of an offensive for Mosul early in the year show that pieces of the effort could be underway sooner than previously thought.

Allied warplanes and armed drones have carried out more than 30 airstrikes near Mosul in the past two weeks. The strikes have damaged or destroyed enemy bunkers, artillery, combat vehicles and even bulldozers erecting earthen fortifications, and killed several top ISIS leaders, officials said.

"We have to beat ISIS in Mosul," Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's finance minister and a former foreign minister, said at a security conference here on Friday.

Retaking Mosul would likely involve bloody, block-by-block fighting, based on previous urban campaigns in Iraq, like Falluja in 2004, American officials say. Success in Mosul would depend largely on the ability of the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to win the cooperation of the local police, many of whom are Sunnis, as well as Kurdish fighters and Sunni tribesmen.

"I've spent a lot of time in Mosul. It is difficult terrain," Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of the Pentagon's Central Command, said in October. "So we want to make sure that when we take that on, that we have the adequate capability and we've set the conditions right to get things done."

General Austin, a former top allied commander in Iraq, added, "Certainly it will be an important fight and a difficult fight."

On the heels of a string of military victories, including breaking the siege of an oil refinery in Baiji, and the liberation of Jurf al-Sahkar, southwest of Baghdad, and Jalawla and Sadiya, in Diyala Province, some newly confident Iraqi officials have been pressing the Americans to back a major operation in Mosul sooner than they would like.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi pressed outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday for more air strikes and weaponry to accelerate what he called the "descent" of ISIS.

The plea underscored tension in the U.S.-Iraqi relationship, with Baghdad pushing for more aggressive assistance than Washington has provided so far, four months after President Barack Obama launched air strikes against IS in Iraq.

Among the Iraqis advocating for an offensive soon in Mosul are some officials close to the prime minister, as well as high-level officials in the Ministry of Defense.

American officials in Baghdad, however, have claimed that the Iraqi military lacks the necessary combat power and logistical capacity, noting that the initial Iraqi force the United States is now advising will consist of only nine Iraqi brigades and three similar Kurdish peshmerga units, or roughly 24,000 troops. The Iraqi spring offensive had called for at least doubling that force before mounting the assault.

Moreover, American officials say there are not enough local Sunni forces to hold the territory in Mosul once it is cleared by the security forces.

As the Iraqi security forces, along with Kurdish peshmerga units and Shiite militias, rack up victories, there are growing calls to allow these fighters to move on Sunni-dominated areas such as Mosul and Tikrit. The Americans have opposed such a move because they claimed it will deepen sectarian divisions .

Hadi al-Ameri, an Iraqi lawmaker and the head of the Badr Corps, a Shiite volunteer grop which many victories against ISIS is reached by his force participating in the operations and has been crucial in the recent gains, complained in a recent interview that the United States and its coalition partners "don't want the people of Iraq to liberate Iraq."

Mosul residents and Iraqi security officials who monitor the city say local residents rising up against the group and this show proper to take Mosul back.

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