The battle to free the Iraqi city of Mosul began Monday October 17. The major Iraqi city has been under the control of the ISIL fighters since a lightning take over in 2014. When the ISIL(Daesh) invaded, there were about a million people living there.
Iraqi While the military action to retake the city is made up of Iraqi soldiers and the Kurdish Peshmerga, they have received backing and support from several countries.
Shortly after the invasion started, it was announced that 200 square kilometres surrounding the city had been liberated. The Iraqi president, Masoud Barzani, was confident enough of the progress that he held a press conference near the city.
Part of his speech is printed below.
"Today is a turning point in the war against terrorism. This is the first time that Peshmerga forces and Iraqi army have cooperated and fought in the same area," Barzani said during a press conference near Mosul. Al Jazeera
The move to retake the city is not a walkover. Stiff resistance and the use of suicide bombers have slowed the coalition along the main highway from Erbil to Mosul. American forces have been providing air cover as well as having personnel close to, but not leading the fighting. There are about 30 000 men in the coalition and about 5000 Americans currently in Iraq.
The ISIL fighters have booby trapped roads and abandoned buildings in the outlying villages. It has been reported that they are stashing IEDs in people’s homes. Some people have managed to increase their security while this effort is ongoing. One man reported that his family has removed anything that is flammable, reinforced the walls with sandbags and cached as much food and water as they could have afford.
If the second largest city in Iraq can be liberated from the terrorist group, it will strike a major blow to the organization’s claim of a caliphate. But the liberation and installment of government in the city will not be easy as there are deep religious divides among the residents. The major divide between the Shia and Sunni groups is a serious one. The Kurds also have claims on Mosul.
Humanitarian aid agencies have begun to set up camps outside the fighting zone to help civilians who escape the city but have nowhere to go.
Blogger, gardener, farmer. Working toward food security and a 30 foot
diet. Addicted to reading. Love this planet, especially my little corner
on Vancouver Island, Canada