Monday, November 14, 2016

Mosul Is Being Reduced To Rubble

Fact Is Mosul Will Be Reduced To Rubble
A matter that merits attention has become merely a footnote lost in the noise of daily news, these are the events taking place as Iraqi troops and a coalition of anti-ISIS forces try to retake Mosul. The timing is a bit suspect and it could be viewed as a convenient coincidence that forces allied with America descended upon Mosul creating a positive message just as Americans went to the polls, this is coupled with news that a similar attack is starting in Syria against Raqqa the headquarters and capital of ISIS. If someone was suspicious they might think all this beginning in the days leading up to the American Presidential election and being spun in the media as a forthcoming victory was orchestrated to assure voters American foreign policy has not been a dismal failure.  

Even though they are in different countries both Mosul and Aleppo stand in the path of the destruction and are being wrecked by the forces of war. Aleppo is of course further down this path as we have seen in photos that have become far too common, these photos depict the total devastation and death modern warfare brings upon those caught in its way.  Mosul and the surrounding area  in northern Iraq had in the past housed about two and a half million people. Since being occupied by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in June of 2014 many people have fled. Knowing that to stay was to risk your life and the lives of those with you the population today has declined to around five hundred thousand. Alsumaria News reports Islamic State militants have even deployed armed children in Mosul’s Old City as means to bolster the impression they are still in control as forces seeking to liberate the city advance.

Adding to the woes of civilians that have remained are reports from U.S. based Human Rights Watch that Iraqi Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State have unlawfully destroyed Arab homes in scores of towns and villages in what may amount to a war crime. The good news is the operation to liberate the city of Mosul and eliminate the last bastion of ISIS in Iraq has been moving faster than many people anticipated according to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Still, problems continue to surface, one of the newest is the operation is now being slowed by a wave of car bombs sent by the Islamic State group. Iraqi special forces Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridi said Sunday that "there are so many civilian cars and any one of them could be a bomb." As Iraqi forces try to advance further into Mosul these suicide car bombs have taken a toll.

Mass Executions By ISIS Are Well Documented
The bad news is that before this is over Mosul most likely will be reduced to rubble if what we have seen happen to other cities in the area becomes its fate. Within its borders, it would not be difficult to imagine 100,000 or more of the innocent people trapped within the city killed as troops seeking to eradicate some four to six thousand ISIS fighters go about their task. Death often occurs in a war zone rather indiscriminately and is dealt out to both civilians and combatants. In this case, civilians will be used as human shields, this will increase the toll and carnage.  

As for the lucky hundreds of civilians who fled fighting near Islamic State-controlled Mosul last week they  are stranded outside the city without basic humanitarian assistance. The situation has become so desperate it is said that army officers have begun distributing rations meant for their soldiers and buying extra supplies with money out of their own pockets. We have seen this all before, when the smoke clears a campaign will begin to raise massive amounts of money to rebuild and set things right but until then it is suffering and death and nothing we do will change this reality of war. The blood and treasure wasted and spent are in many ways a reflection and the legacy of intervening where you don't belong. When this campaign is over victory will be declared but what exactly will we be celebrating?

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