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Mosul Massacre killed THOUSANDS of INNOCENT people

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:17 pm

Piling wrote:To follow the updates of operations, twitter account of Peshmerga command :

https://twitter.com/GCPFKurdistan

Thank you for that it is an excellent link :ymapplause:
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:23 pm

Mosul Factsheet:
brief guide to the city and the liberation offensive

Geography: What is considered modern day Mosul is actually the twin cities of Mosul and the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, sitting on opposite sides of the Tigris River on the Nineveh Plains in Nineveh province, northern Iraq. It is 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, 85 kilometres west of Erbil, and 125 kilometres south of the border with Turkey.

Demography: The pre-ISIS population of Iraq’s second-largest city was approximately 3 million. Current estimates of the number of people still living in the city vary from 700,000 to over one million.

Mosul’s history of numerous occupations and its situation on a crossroads between cultures means it has a diverse population including Arabs, Turkmen, Christians and Kurds, including Yezidi and Shabak. Historically it also had a sizeable Jewish population.

The majority of the population is Sunni Muslim.

Economy: Historically, Mosul was a centre of trade, a thriving city on the Silk Road. It became known for metalwork, a miniature painting style, marble, crude oil and textile production; muslin gets its name from Mosul.

Before the ISIS occupation in June 2014, Mosul remained a centre for trade. There is also some oil in Nineveh Province, extracted at the Hain Zala and Batma oil fields before the ISIS takeover.

The Mosul Dam is one of the largest in the Middle East.

The city also had gained a reputation as a centre for education. The University of Mosul, established in 1967, rose to become one of the largest education and research centres in the Middle East. The university campus was reportedly adapted into a base for ISIS militants and subsequently bombed by the coalition.

History: Mosul was a meeting place of culture and commerce for millennia, creating a city rich in history and diverse in population. A centre of trade between Persia and the Mediterranean, it saw many cultures crossing its streets, often for trade. Others came to conquer the city, including Sumerians, Assyrians, Alexander the Great, Persians, the Ottoman Empire and ISIS.

The geographic area has been inhabited since around 6000 BC. Nineveh, on the east bank of the Tigris, was chosen as the capital of the Assyrian Empire around 700 BC and was briefly the largest city in the world. Mosul, on the west bank, became the principle city in northern Mesopotamia in the 8th century. In 1258 it was sacked by the Mongols. It was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1534 to 1918.

After the First World War, Mosul was brought under temporary British administration. Ottoman Turkey and Allied nations signed the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 that gave Kurds the right to form a state, including those from Mosul.

But the Treaty of Lausanne replaced the Treaty of Sevres in 1923, leaving the fate of Mosul in the hands of the League of Nations. The current Iraq-Turkey border was defined in 1926 under the Frontier Treaty, which saw Turkey give up Mosul on the agreement that Baghdad give Ankara a 10 percent royalty on the city’s oil deposits for 25 years.

Mosul is one of the several “disputed areas” that Erbil and Baghdad vie for control over. As a disputed area, Mosul was included in the no-fly zone imposed over Kurdish areas in 1991.

Mosul under the Caliphate: Mosul fell to the Islamic State on June 10, 2014.

It was here that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave a sermon at Mosul’s Great Mosque in the old city, publicly declaring the Caliphate of the Islamic State on July 4, 2014.

The largely Sunni population of Mosul, aggrieved by the Shia government in Baghdad, at first welcomed ISIS as liberators, before the Caliphate’s true colours became known.

Under ISIS, there have been daily executions, usually held after prayers. Islamic police are everywhere.

Residents have no work and no money. Malnutrition is a problem. Supplies are irregular and when they are available, people do not always have money. ISIS demands a tax. If you cannot pay, the militants may seize your home or car.

The people of Mosul say they are “prisoners in a very huge prison.”

Military preparations: The military offensive for Mosul is compelling diverse forces, who are oftentimes at each others’ throats, to work together - Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Arab, Christian, Yezidi, Turkmen, American - though not without problems.

The primary force leading the offensive will be the Iraqi army along with Iraqi security forces, including counter-terrorism and police forces. They will be the sole forces entering the city of Mosul. This was decided in discussions between Baghdad, Erbil and coalition partners. Fears of sectarian violence, as seen in Fallujah where Shiite militias, the Hashd al-Shaabi, were accused of serious human rights violations against the Sunni residents, are high and the decision to limit the forces entering the city was made to mitigate that threat.

The Iraqi army will be supported by several other forces who will assist in encircling the city. This includes the Kurdish Peshmerga, who are located east and north of Mosul, along with local militia groups trained and operating under Peshmerga command such as Christian and Yezidi brigades. Local Sunni forces, the Hashd al-Watani, trained by Turkey will fight under Peshmerga command.

The Peshmerga currently control the majority of routes into Mosul; they are also the forces closest to the city, within just a few kilometres.

No force that is not under the command of the Iraqi government will participate.

The US-led coalition will play an advisory role in addition to providing air and logistical support.

Peshmerga and Iraqi forces have established joint centres to coordinate for the offensive. They have created joint command centres - one located in Erbil and one in Makhmour. Iraqi, Peshmerga, and coalition military leaders operate jointly out of these command centres.

They have also created a joint media centre that will operate through three media offices - one from the Peshmerga, one from the Iraqi forces, and one from the international coalition. A joint media committee will manage the forces’ messages throughout the offensive, publishing statements on the battle for Mosul and Nineveh Province.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has given permission to the Iraqi army to enter Kurdish territory in order to approach Mosul.

A 30,000-strong force consisting of Peshmerga, Iraqi security and counter-terrorism forces, local police and 14,000 Nineveh tribal fighters are prepared for the offensive.

Humanitarian preparations: Up to one million people may flee the military offensive, from the city itself as well as surrounding towns and countryside.

The UNHCR is preparing to accept 710,000 people. They have sufficient funds to build three camps for IDPs - with enough space to house 6,300 families in total. They also expect to be able to provide space for IDPs in Daquq near Kirkuk, Salahaddin, Sulaimani, Garmiyan and Debaga camp in Erbil Province. Baghdad is also building three camps with capacity for 20,000 families.

It is not enough, however, for the numbers expected. The UNHCR is trying to mitigate that by having emergency shelter kits with basic supplies so IDPs can put up their own tents in open spaces.

The UNHCR has appealed for another $16 million to cover emergency supplies and $90 million for winterization - items like blankets, heaters, and kerosene.

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/1610201610
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:31 pm

The battle for MosulThe battle for Mosul

The United Nations is encouraging civilians fleeing Mosul to not move to the west where the UN and aid agencies do not have access to the territory.

Speaking to the press on Monday evening Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator, said that aid agencies expect the majority of people fleeing Mosul to move east, and some north and south. And aid agencies are prepared to receive populations in those areas.

They are trying to pass the message to civilians in Mosul that going to the west, where ISIS retains control, will be very dangerous.

The UN and aid agencies do not have a presence at the preliminary screening points for internally displaced (IDPs). For populations who flee to Kurdish-controlled areas, they will be first screened by the Peshmerga. For populations who flee to Iraqi-controlled areas, the Iraqi military is responsible for screening.

No Popular Mobilization Units, the Shiite militias, will do any screening, Grande stressed.

The UN and aid agencies are based at a distance from the frontlines. There are no armed UN guards protecting the international organizations, Grande said; the Iraqi forces and Peshmerga are providing security for them.

Grande warned that no institution in the world can deal with the displacement of more than 150,000 at a time. If that many move at once, “we are paralyzed” she said. Any more than 40,000 at one time, and it starts to get tough she said.

As many as 1 million are expected to flee over the course of the offensive.

The humanitarian effort remains underfunded. “We are grateful” for what contributions they have received, said Grande. But “it’s just not enough money for what we’re facing.”

The Director General of the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) of the Kurdistan Regional Government's Ministry of the Interior, Hoshang Mohamed, reported that no internally displace persons (IDPs) arrived at safe sites today.

The Syrian government has welcomed the Iraqi government's announcement of the start of the Mosul offensive, saying it considers victory over ISIS in Iraq is a victory over ISIS in Syria.

According to a statement from an official at the Syrian foreign ministry, “Syria welcomes this announcement and declares its strong support for the Iraqi government and army and the forces supporting it, including the Popular Mobilization Forces,” the Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported, citing an official source.

The official described the operation as an important step and emphasized that Syria opposes Turkish troops' participation in the battle and considers those who are trying to obstruct both Iraq and Syria in their efforts to combat terrorism are themselves supporters of terror.

“Syria affirms that victory over ISIS in Iraq is a victory over ISIS in Syria, because the battle against ISIS and other terrorist groups is a battle against terrorism and those who support, arm, and fund it,” the source said.

“Syria warns against the dangerous and aggressive statement and positions of the Turkish regimes against the people of Iraq and against the decision to liberate Mosul, which can only be considered as another attempt by the Turkish regime to use deception regarding the battle to end terrorism and the unjustified occupation of Syrian and Iraqi territories,” the source added.

“All those who refrain from supporting the people and leaderships of Syria and Iraq in fighting terrorism under any pretext, and those who obstruct the two states’ efforts to uproot terrorism, are in fact supporting terrorism and standing against the resolutions of the UN and international legitimacy on terrorism.”

THIS LINK HAS REGULAR UPDATES

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/161020167
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:53 pm

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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:53 pm

Vladimir Putin issues warning to West over civilian casualties in Mosul

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes the US and its allies will do their best to avoid civilian casualties in an attack on Isis' Iraq stronghold of Mosul.

“We hope that our American partners, and in this case our French partners as well, will act selectively and do everything to minimise — and even better, to rule out — civilian casualties,” Mr Putin told a news conference after a summit of developing economies in India on Sunday.

“We of course are not going to fan hysteria over this matter, like our partners in the West do, because we understand that we need to fight terrorism, and that there is no other way apart from active fighting,” he added.

Mr Putin made his remarks as the UK and US said they were considering sanctions against Russia and Syria in response to their bombardment of Aleppo.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned Russia and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad that they would not be successful in their "barbaric siege" of the city.

Speaking in London following talks on Syria's civil war, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the bombardment constituted “crimes against humanity”.

He said: “It could stop tomorrow morning, tonight if Russia and the Assad regime were to behave according to any norm or any standard of decency, but they’ve chosen not to.

“Instead we see what can only be described as crimes against humanity taking place on a daily basis, and hospitals are bombed and children are bombed or gassed.”

More than 275,000 civilians in the city are enduring daily bombing raids, alleged gas attacks, and the use of highly destructive barrel bombs from Russian and Syrian air strikes.

The battle to seize Mosul from Isis began on Monday morning, as convoys of troops began mobilising east of the city.

US and French forces had already began bombing Isis targets in the city ahead of the offensive.

Ahead of the battle, the Iraqi army dropped tens of thousands of leaflets over Mosul, urging residents to hide before the offensive beigns.

The leaflets carried several messages to the citizens attempting to reassure them that the advancing army "would not target civilians," but warned them to avoid the known locations of Isis militants.

The military operation is the most complex carried out in Iraq since US forces withdrew from the country in 2011.

Last week, the UN said it was bracing itself for the world's biggest and most complex humanitarian effort following the battle, which it expects will displace up to one million people and see civilians used as human shields.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 65236.html
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:02 am

Iraq’s ‘ramshackle’ Mosul offensive may see ISIS defeated
but it will expose deep divisions between the forces involved

US-led air support will be crucial to victory against the jihadis, but the hatred felt between the various ‘allies’ mean it may not be the last battle within the city

The Iraqi government and its allies may eventually capture Mosul from Isis, but this could be just a new chapter in the war.

It will only win because of the devastating firepower of the US-led air forces and sheer weight of numbers. But the fight for the city is militarily and politically complex. The Iraqi army, Kurdish Peshmerga, Shia Hashd al-Shaabi and Sunni fighters from Mosul and Nineveh province, which make up the anti-Isis forces, suspect and fear each other almost as much as they hate Isis.

The Western media is portraying the first advances towards Mosul as if it is as orderly and well-planned as the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944. But in private Iraqis, who have seen many decisive victories turn out to be no such thing, are more sceptical about what they are seeing. One Iraqi observer in Baghdad, who did not want his name published, said that “the whole Mosul offensive seems to be a ramshackle affair held together by the expected high level of support from the US air force and special forces”.

At least 12 US generals and 5,000 US troops are reportedly in Iraq and they will play a crucial role in the coming struggle. The observer added: “I don’t think that the Iraqi forces, Peshmerga, Hashd and Sunni volunteers can singly or jointly take back the city without the physical and psychological props provided by the US.”

The US participation is crucial because although the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga have been successful driving back Isis since it won a succession of blitzkrieg victories in 2014, they have relied on US-led air support. This has carried out 12,129 air strikes against Isis in the past two years, enabling Iraqi government forces and their allies to recapture cities like Ramadi, Fallujah, Baiji and Tikrit while the Peshmerga captured Sinjar. But these successes would scarcely have happened without the coalition air umbrella overhead, allowing the anti-Isis units to avoid fighting and act primarily as a mopping up force.

There are now about 25,000 Iraqi army, Hashd and other volunteers in and around the Qayyara area 40 miles south of Mosul, while some 4,000 Peshmerga are advancing from the east. The earliest part of the campaign in the open countryside should be the easiest because air power and artillery can be most easily deployed. Villages and towns, many of them formerly inhabited by Christians or the Shabak minority, on the Nineveh Plain east of Mosul are empty and can be bombarded without risk of civilian casualties.

But military and political calculations change when the Kurds reach the built up outskirts of Mosul, which may still have a million people it. They are pledged not to enter the city which is the biggest Sunni Arab urban centre in Iraq, though it used to have a substantial Kurdish minority. The Shia paramilitaries of the Hashd are also not supposed to enter Mosul because of Sunni sensitivities, but they can besiege it.

The Iraqi army has a number of experienced combat units such as the Golden Division, but these are limited in number and have complained in the past of being fought out because they are too frequently deployed. The nature of the fighting in Mosul will differ and be more difficult than in Ramadi and Fallujah, both of which were surrounded while in Mosul Isis has not been yet been encircled and cut off from the rest of Iraq. The US would probably be inhibited in employing its airpower in Mosul so the Iraqi army and its elite counter-terrorism units might suffer heavy casualties in street fighting with the 4,000 to 8,000 Isis fighters believed to be in the city.

This supposes that Isis will want to stand and fight for Mosul in a way that it did not in other Iraqi cities. Ever since it lost some 2,000 fighters, mostly to US air strikes, in its abortive four-and-a-half month siege of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani in 2014-15, its commanders have been reluctant to let their forces, which are overwhelmingly light infantry, fight from fixed positions that can be precisely targeted and obliterated by shelling and bombing. They might do better in Mosul, but the end result would likely be the same.

But not to fight for Mosul would be a bad blow to Isis. It contains one-third of the population under its control in Iraq. It is the heart of the “caliphate” that was declared here just over two years ago. It was the capture of Mosul by an Isis force of a few thousand defeating a garrison numbering at least 20,000 that astonished the world in June 2014. Isis leaders themselves saw their victory as miraculous and a sign of divine assistance. The loss of the city would, on the contrary, be evidence that the caliphate has no miraculous formula for victory and has gone into irreversible decline.

Yet if Isis is going to fight anywhere, it would be best to do so in Mosul where it has been long entrenched. If the Iraqi army counter-terrorist forces get bogged down in street-fighting, Baghdad might face a number of unpalatable choices. It could ask the US-led coalition to escalate the bombing, but this might be embarrassing and lead to comparisons with the Russian and Syrian bombardment of East Aleppo over which the Western powers frequently express their revulsion.

Another alternative would be for Baghdad to use the Hashd paramilitaries, but this would be seen as an anti-Sunni move. Turkey is struggling to be a player in deciding the fate of Mosul and maintaining its Sunni Arab character. It local proxy is the former governor at the time of the Isis capture of the city, Atheel al-Nujaifi, who has 5,000 militiamen trained by the Turks, many of them former policemen in Mosul. The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has furiously demanded that a Turkish force of 1,500 soldiers at Bashiqa close to the front line return to Turkey and has exchanged abuse with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Isis has always benefited from the divisions of its opponents and nowhere are these more glaring than in and around Mosul where so many sectarian and ethnic fault lines meet. These divisions have helped Isis survive for so long, but its savagery has also united leaders and parties who otherwise might fight each other. This is true of the Baghdad government and the Iraqi Kurds, who took advantage of the defeat of the Iraqi army in northern Iraq in 2014 to take over a swathe of disputed territories which expanded the area of Kurdish control by 40 per cent.

This shifting mosaic of different parties and interests makes the course, intensity and outcome of the battle for Mosul highly unpredictable. One way or another it looks likely that Isis will lose, but it is less certain who will win and fill the vacuum left by the overthrow of the caliphate. There are many contenders for this role, making it possible that the present battle for Mosul will not be the last.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 66416.html
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:44 pm

Warplanes destroy large ISIS convoy while trying to escape to Raqqa

Iraqi media outlets reported on Tuesday, that a large ISIS convoy was destroyed by an aerial bombing on the Iraqi-Syrian borders, and indicated that the convoy was carrying Arab and foreign members who were trying to escape to the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Al Sumaria News stated, “This evening, warplanes bombed a large convoy of 30 vehicles carrying Arab and foreign members of ISIS and their families, destructing the convoy and killing most of its occupants,” adding that, “The ISIS members and their families were trying to flee towards the Iraqi-Syrian borders.”

“The morale of ISIS militants was highly affected by the liberation battles in Nineveh,” Al Sumaria explained. “ISIS gave orders to its foreign members to leave from Nineveh to the Syrian city of Raqqa,” Al Sumaria added.

Yesterday, General Commander of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced launching the battle to liberate the city of Mosul from the grip of ISIS.

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/warpl ... ape-raqqa/
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:14 pm

They attacked ISIS retreating from Fallujah

Attacking people retreating is akin to shooting someone in the back

It is something no decent person would ever do

...warplanes bombed a large convoy of 30 vehicles carrying Arab and foreign members of ISIS and their families, destructing the convoy and killing most of its occupants


FAMILIES

WOMEN

CHILDREN

BABIES

Intentionally bombing a convoy with the knowledge that it contained innocent women and children is a war crime

Bombing a convoy containing foreign members of ISIS is a big mistake - the foreign members of ISIS will have family members in their countries of origin - those family members will not be happy - it would not surprise me if many of them became ISIS supporters themselves

I think there will be repercussions in Europe and America for this slaughter X(
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:52 pm

Mosul battle: EU should prepare for returning jihadists

The European Union should be prepared for returning jihadists if the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) is driven out of its Iraqi stronghold, Mosul, the EU's security commissioner warns.

Julian King told Germany's Die Welt newspaper that even a small number of militants would pose "a serious threat that we must prepare ourselves for".

Iraqi forces launched what is expected to be a lengthy offensive on Monday.

As many as 5,000 ISIS fighters are believed to remain in Mosul.

Government troops, moving in from the south, are currently some 40km (24 miles) from the city, while Kurdish fighters are some 30km to the east.

Aid agencies are bracing themselves for what they say could be the largest man-made humanitarian crisis of recent times.

How big is the threat to Europe?

Julian King, a British diplomat recently made the EU's security commissioner, told Die Welt (in German) that the threat of ISIS fighters returning to Europe after the fall of Mosul was "very serious".

There were currently about 2,500 fighters from EU countries in the combat zones, he said.

However, he stressed that it was "very unlikely that there would be a mass exodus of ISIS fighters to Europe".

Similar cases in the past had shown, he said, that "only a few fighters come back".

"I don't want to talk the risk down," he added. "Even a small number constitutes a threat."

What is the latest on the offensive?

A coalition of some 34,000 Iraqi security personnel, Kurdish fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen, and Shia paramilitary forces - backed by the US and other nations - took a string of villages and districts in the south and east of Mosul on day one of the offensive.

Battle for Mosul

700,000 estimated population left

3,000-5,000 estimated number of fighters from Islamic State group

25,000 troops expected to take part

The BBC's Ahmed Maher, reporting from the front line, says the strategy is to encircle the city before moving in on the centre itself.

US Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said late on Monday that the campaign was "ahead of schedule" but warned it was early days and it was not yet known whether ISIS fighters would "stand and fight".

France's Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday "it could be a long battle" lasting several weeks, if not months.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army accused the US-led coalition of planning to allow ISIS fighters in Mosul to flee into Syria, Reuters news agency reports.

The army, which has no control over Syria's border with Iraq, was quoted as saying it would resist any attempt by fighters to cross.

The commander of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service, Maj-Gen Fadhil Jalil al-Barwari, has been quoted by the New Arab website as saying ISIS fighters are being offered two corridors "to go to Syria".

How are civilians coping in Mosul?

An Iraqi-American journalist who has been on the outskirts of Mosul and has relatives in the city said the situation there was currently calm.

Steven Nabil said people were feeling a mixture of excitement at the prospect of being liberated, and "stress and worry" over what dangers the offensive would bring.

Phone lines had been re-established with the city in recent days, giving residents access to a free phone line.

"They've actually sent out hundreds of messages in the past hours telling the coalition" where ISIS locations are, particularly as they have moved into local neighbourhoods, he said.

The UN is working to create new refugee sites outside Mosul amid fears that as many as a million people may be forced from their homes.

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Lise Grande, the UN's humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, said the organisation was working on the assumption that as many as 200,000 people might need shelter in the first days and weeks of the operation.

There are also fears the fighters might use civilians as human shields as the offensive continues.

Ms Grande said Iraqi security forces planned to vet fleeing civilians to ensure militants were not hiding among them.

Why does Mosul matter?

The oil-rich capital of Nineveh province was Iraq's second-largest city when ISIS militants overran it in June 2014, but many inhabitants subsequently fled.

Its capture became a symbol of the group's rise as a major force and its ability to control territory, and it was there that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" in parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

The city was one of Iraq's most diverse, comprising ethnic Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Turkmens, as well as a variety of religious minorities.

While members of those minorities largely fled the onslaught by ISIS, many local Sunni Arabs initially welcomed the militants, angered by the sectarian policies of the previous Shia Arab-led central government.

But after two years of brutal ISIS rule, opposition has reportedly grown inside Mosul.

One major concern for those still there is the involvement of Shia militiamen in the offensive, after they were accused of sectarian abuses in other cities that have been recaptured.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has sought to reassure people by saying only Iraqi security forces will be allowed to enter Mosul.

Even if ISIS is driven out of Mosul, the group will still control areas of northern and eastern Iraq.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37689210
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:07 pm

After ISIS, People From Mosul Fear What May Come Next

The man from Mosul is neat and tidy, in his mid-30s. He uses careful English and tries to stop his voice trembling as he speaks about the city he lived in all his life.

"My mind is full with memories," he says. "Friends. Home. You know – my home. I was born there."

ISIS has occupied Mosul for more than two years. Residents describe a regime of strict rules and savagely violent punishments for breaking them. The man is too afraid of ISIS to give his name or occupation, but he is a professional, he brought up a family in Mosul.

"We have house, we have car, we have jobs, we have life, we are normal people," he says.

He fled after living a year under the extremists, and his nostalgia is tangible. Now, the long-awaited military operations to retake Mosul are getting underway. What does he see for his future if the city is wrested back?

"I miss the home," he says. "But going home is like killing myself."

He says he expects chaos and violent retribution if ISIS is pushed out of Mosul. He fears that families who lost loved ones to the militants will take revenge not just on those who worked with ISIS, but on their whole families.

"There is no law, in the years to come," he says. "The government is weak. I don't trust these guys."

He regards his life in Mosul as over. He never plans to go back, and says when he sits with his friends from Mosul in the nearby city of Erbil, they do not speak of home.

None of them will return, so reminiscence is painful.

His cynicism about the capacity of the local officials, now in exile, to run a post-ISIS Mosul is widespread, and tacitly shared by Western diplomats here.

When questioned, Iraqi officials are keen to talk about the military strategy to retake the city, but are vague on details of security, justice or reconciliation.

The governor of Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, Nofal Hamdani Sultan, says the fate of people will simply be decided by law.

"If anyone work with Daesh, he go to the jail," he says, using ISIS' Arabic acronym.

When asked about the families of such people, he says any family with a father or a brother in ISIS will all leave, including women and children, "maybe outside Iraq, maybe to Turkey, to Syria."

This, he concedes, could number tens of thousands of people.

And on security, he says the holding force for a Mosul retaken from ISIS should be only the local police. But there are currently only 8,000 police ready for the job. Before the events of 2014, Mosul had 32,000 police.

The anxiety of Mosul's people about their future highlights a wider crisis across Iraq: In most places retaken from ISIS, most of the population has been unable to return home.

More than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced since ISIS' predecessor, al-Qaida, took Fallujah at the beginning of 2014. Although those numbers are not officially broken down by sect or ethnicity, aid workers say the majority of the displaced are Sunni Arabs.

ISIS is Sunni, and most of its support in Iraq has been drawn from the Sunni Arab minority, which has chafed under a government led since 2003 by parties from the Shiite majority.

But millions of Sunni Arabs have suffered at the hands of the extremists. They now face a bleak future. Many of their homes have been destroyed in the fighting against ISIS, and they say they are treated as complicit with ISIS by the security forces and some other Iraqis. In some areas, they have been prevented from returning home.

The displaced man from Mosul who doesn't believe he can go home becomes agitated as he talks about the way he's perceived.

"Now everyone hates the Sunni, they think we are Daesh," he says. "What about me? What about me who escaped? What about the doctors, the teachers? You cannot say everyone is Daesh."

Although he doesn't trust officials set to govern Mosul, he sees them merely as corrupt and inefficient. It's ISIS he really blames for ripping his world apart.

"It makes me too angry," he says. "They killed everything. Killed history. They killed people. They killed hope. Killed future. They killed everything."

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2 ... iesfromnpr
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:13 pm

Armed uprising against ISIS begins in Mosul

Iraqi media outlets reported on Tuesday that a popular armed uprising is expected to begin in the city of Mosul against the Islamic State and that six ISIS patrols were attacked by Mosul residents within a five hour period.

Al Sumaria News stated, “A popular uprising is expected to occur in Mosul against ISIS which has begun to lose control over the city. Divisions have emerged between its leaders and its fighters have been fleeing since the start of liberation battles which have been waged across multiple fronts.”

“Six patrols that were deployed in the neighborhoods of al-Zohor, Dawasa and al-Tahrir were attacked in less than five hours by a group of young rebels in Mosul,” Al Sumaria explained. “ISIS did not conduct any raids but reinforced the presence of its militants instead,” Al Sumaria added.

Alsumaria also revealed that ISIS removed traffic signs from the streets of the city to conceal its defeat and hide the signs of victory of the security forces.

Earlier today a young group of rebels from the city of Mosul launched an attack on a headquarters belongs to ISIS and stormed into it in the vicinity of Hayy al-Kahera area, killing two of its guards and burned a vehicle that was carrying heavy weapons.

The young people, chanted ‘Mosul is free,’ and raised the Iraqi flag before withdrawing from the area, after large numbers of ISIS members arrived to regain control over the headquarters.

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/armed ... ins-mosul/
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:30 pm

Damascus, allies see risks in Mosul campaign

The Syrian army and its allies see a risk that Islamic State will regroup in eastern Syria as it is forced from the Iraqi city of Mosul in a U.S.-backed operation, posing new risks for President Bashar al-Assad.

Both the Syrian army and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah have warned of what they have called a U.S. plan to open a path of retreat for Islamic State from Iraq into Syria. A Pentagon spokesman called the claim "ludicrous".

The Iraqi government launched the campaign to drive the jihadist group from its last stronghold in Iraq this week. Iraqi government and Kurdish forces on Tuesday announced progress in the first 24 hours of the offensive, backed by air and ground support from the U.S.-led coalition.

A senior official in the alliance fighting in support of Assad told Reuters the arrival of large numbers of extra IS fighters in Syria from Iraq would present new dangers to Syrian government-held pockets of territory in Deir al-Zor, to the ancient city of Palmyra, and to other areas further west.

IS would also be able to reinforce the Syrian city of Raqqa, its main other urban center after Mosul.

"There is a danger that Iraq will witness a victory and Syria a crisis - a victory in Iraq will be a the expense of a new crisis in Syria," said the official, a non-Syrian, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Though it has lost ground in Syria, Islamic State still controls parts of the country's east, including nearly all of Deir al-Zor province, which borders Iraq, and links the Iraqi and Syrian halves of its self-declared "caliphate".

FRANCE SEES LIKELY RETREAT TO RAQQA

The jihadist group is being fought in Syria separately by the U.S.-backed coalition and the Russian-backed Syrian army and its allies, which are also battling other armed groups in western Syria including rebel forces in eastern Aleppo.

Islamic State has lost swathes of territory in Syria to U.S.-backed Syrian forces including the Kurdish YPG over the last year, and more recently to Turkey-backed Syrian Arab 'Free Syrian Army' rebel groups near the Turkish border.

The Syrian government and their allies, while focusing much of their firepower on rebels battling to topple Assad, have also fought IS, driving it from Palmyra earlier this year.

The Syrian government has also fought to maintain a precarious foothold in Deir al-Zor city, besieged by IS.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Syrian army command in Damascus said Washington and Riyadh had drawn up a plan whereby roads would be secured to allow the militants to create "new battleground realities" in eastern Syria.

Both Saudi Arabia and the United States support rebels fighting Assad.

"Any attempt to cross the border is an attack on the sovereignty of Syria... and would be dealt with all forces available," the army statement said.

The Pentagon spokesman, Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, said the assertion was not correct. "These claims are ludicrous," he said.

The assault on Mosul has been in preparation since July, and at stake for U.S. President Barack Obama is his hoped-for legacy of seizing back as much territory as he can from the jihadists before he leaves office in January.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that with militants likely to retreat to their Syrian bastion Raqqa, it was vital to seriously consider how to also retake that city.

"We can't let Islamic State reconstitute itself or strengthen to create an even more dangerous hub. We have to prepare ourselves," he said.

(Reuters)
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:23 pm

Capture of Mosul could cause terror surge in Europe

Liberating Mosul from Islamic State (ISIS) could cause a surge of ISIS fighters into Europe EU warned

The European Union's security commissioner Julian King said: "The reconquest of the northern Iraqi IS stronghold Mosul can cause violent ISIS fighters to come back to Europe.

"This is a very serious threat that we have to prepare for," he told German newspaper Die Welt.

King said more than 2,500 people have traveled from European countries to ISIS regions to fight and that some of them could return.

The security official said that while he did not believe there will be an "exodus" of fighters arriving in Europe, "even a small number represents a serious threat".

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/10/18 ... warns.html
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:00 pm

Latest developments - the propaganda war

Lt Gen Qassim al-Maliki, commander of the Iraqi 9th armored division,
told CNN that in the past 48 hours:


The armored division has advanced; it is now three to four miles from the outskirts of Mosul
Three brigades have liberated 13 villages to north and northeast of Quwayr
At least 50 ISIS militants and two Iraqi soldiers have been killed, and 25 soldiers are injured
Dozens of suicide vehicles and a large number of IEDS have been destroyed


But another Iraqi military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN that Iraqi units fighting around the village of Al Absi have been surrounded by ISIS fighters. Al Absi is near Nimrud, 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Mosul. The area has seen heavy fighting in the last 36 hours.

R I P the truth

Long live propaganda
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Re: Updates on Ongoing Mosul Massacre

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:56 am

US tries to end spat threatening Mosul battle

US officials are scrambling to end a dispute between Ankara and Baghdad that threatens to derail a carefully developed plan to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group.

Officials fear a war of words between Turkey and Iraq's central government could jeopardize a fragile pact that would keep rival sectarian and ethnic militias out of the northern Iraqi city's center.

"There is a lot of tension and the public rhetoric has gotten a bit out of hand," a senior administration official told AFP. "It's an extremely troubling scenario."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter will visit Turkey on Friday to make sure the plan stays on track.

The long-awaited battle to retake Iraq's second city began on Monday and will probably take months to complete.

"We are trying to make sure that those tensions are not going to create such a chaotic situation that the military success would simply be overshadowed," the official said.

A dizzying array of ethnic and sectarian groups are already jockeying for influence "the day after" the Islamic State (IS) group is ousted.

The United States has brokered a deal to keep powerful Shiite and Kurdish militias on the outskirts of the majority Sunni Arab city, hoping to avoid more of the sectarian bloodletting that has plagued Iraq since a US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein.

Amnesty International has accused Shiite paramilitaries of carrying out war crimes during the recapture of Tikrit from the IS group, including the torture and execution of thousands of civilians.

The Iraqi military will take the lead in Mosul.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have jettisoned the tacit agreement, saying it was unthinkable for Ankara or its allies to stay on the sidelines.

"We will be in the operation and we will be at the table," he said in a televised speech. "Our brothers are there and our relatives are there. It is out of the question that we are not involved."

Turkey is concerned about the influence of anti-Ankara Kurdish militia and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

Around 700 Turkish troops are already deployed in Bashiqa, in northern Iraq, and Ankara backs a number of Sunni and Turkomen militias active inside the country.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded angrily, calling for Turkey to withdraw troops and stop violating Iraqi sovereignty.

A senior US administration official warned that, in the worst case, the war of words could provoke clashes between Turkish and Iraqi government forces as well as a factional free-for-all that would see Shiite militias pile into the city.

"This is part of what we are telling the Turkish government," the official said. "The more their rhetoric escalates, the more their actions -- if they were to take actions -- the more it's going to give both pretext and justification for the PMF to demand a more active role."

"Unilateral actions, in the worst circumstance, could lead to direct clashes between Iraqis and Turks and between the Shia militia and Turks."

But keeping the Iraqi military at the tip of the spear will be essential if President Barack Obama's administration is to avoid repeating past failures in Iraq.

"Yes, it's a campaign to defeat ISIL militarily, but the president's goal by the end of the administration is to put ISIL on the path to lasting defeat," the senior administration official said, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State group.

"That meant taking steps to ensure that in the aftermath of whatever military liberation of territory or defeat of ISIL that we wouldn't be in a position where the level of destruction, marginalization, alienation, either from a humanitarian point of view or from a governance point of view, that you would just be planting the seeds of the next generation of extremist or terrorist group."

More than a decade of war in Iraq has seen one Sunni insurgent group defeated, only to be replaced by another.

There are also fears in Washington that the spat with Erdogan could weaken Abadi, who is already in a difficult position at home.

The moderate US-backed Shiite leader faces a stiff challenge from hardliners, including former president Nuri al-Maliki, whom the White House has blamed for many of Iraq's sectarian woes.

"The more you see this spiral between Turkey and Baghdad, the harder it is going to be for Abadi to resist calls by his Shia base," the US official said.

"If Abadi appears too weak in the face of Turkey, then he is going provide too much of an opportunity for some of his rivals to pick up the mantle and be more nationalistic."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-tries-end ... tml?ref=gs
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