The US Is About To Pound The Sh*t Out Of ISIS In Mosul

The battle for Mosul may require a stronger U.S. role

Iraq’s future hangs in the balance as the battle against ISIS heats up. In the upcoming couple of months, the role of the U.S. in the battle to regain the city of Mosul could increase and involve a stronger armed presence. Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city held by ISIS since June 2014, has become the scene of an escalating battle. Iraqi and Kurdish forces and their allies have been fighting ISIS since the operation to retake the city began on October 17th. So far, according to Foreign Policy,

“Iraqi and Kurdish forces have retaken a score of villages on the Nineveh Plains and have now entered the eastern suburbs of the city. Recent reports indicate that Iraqi forces advancing from the south are still at least 10 miles from the city.”

Abdullah Hardi is a soldier in the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division, which recently captured ground in Mosul’s eastern district. It was the first unit to gain a foothold in the city. According to its officers, the military operation is progressing ahead of schedule. However, there is still pressure coming from the government to achieve a fast victory; if speed is put above efficiency, the 9th Division could fall victim to a counterattack. In fact, soldiers have admitted that the extremist group has posed stronger resistance than expected.

“The Islamic State’s defense of the area offered the soldiers alarming clues about the resistance awaiting them in Mosul: Piles of completed improvised explosive devices (IEDs), homemade rockets, and precursor materials strewn across the jihadi group’s workshops were capable of near-industrial scale production of munitions. Networks of trenches and warrens of tunnels also allowed fighters to maneuver unseen, and garages concealed suicide vehicles.”

The above, together with ISIS tactic of hidding in highly urbanized areas to use civilians as shields do represent an obstacle for Iraq and its coalition. Now, it is necessary to clear neighborhoods house by house before any further step can be taken. Before the current administration is over, it is likely that the White House will increase all efforts to finish this battle, so that Barack Obama can add retaking Iraq to his legacy, and deny Donald Trump a talking point, or an opening to abandon the situation. Coalition spokesman Col. John C. Dorian already told CNN some days ago

“We will continue to strike the enemy for as long as it takes for the Iraqi flag to be raised over Mosul and every other corner of this country.”

The battle for Mosul might be about to escalate.

Featured image via Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, U.S. Army

From Mexico City, Carolina has lived in five different countries, experiences she defines as the most enriching. She has focused her studies and work on international conflicts and international security issues, diplomacy and protocol. Carolina holds two MA degrees and hopes to begin her PhD studies soon.