On 21 of last September , chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff , US Army, “Joe Dunford said,” The Iraqi forces will be ready by next October to attack the strongholds of the organization of ISIL in Mosul. Dunford said at a military ceremony in Washington that the Iraqis will be ready in early October to begin operations against the organization of ISIL in Mosul, but he pointed out that the timing of the start of this process is linked to a political decision of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. After his meeting with Al-Abadi in Washington on 20 of the last September , US President Barack Obama said that the battle of the restoration of Mosul from the grip of the organization Daesh may start “quickly to some extent,” but acknowledged that it will be difficult.
It is no longer the Iraqi controversy these days revolves on how to grab the province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul from the grip of the organization Daesh, because the military concentrations confirms that the matter had been resolved. The battle of liberation of Mosul, ” just around the corner” noting that its numbers on the four axes of these converging forces exceeded more than thirty thousand soldiers backed by US special Rapid deployment forces , while the sky of Nineveh is covered by three squadrons of US , French and Iraqi aircrafts, but there is something indicates that the political problems, which will follow the process of liberalization of Mosul , are larger than the battle itself, which is called “post-Daesh. It is a “Stage that is stuck between different and contradictory political projects, including the divisive and partition projects, and in this context , the vote of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, on 26 of last September , falls to keep the Nineveh province united , according to its historical borders before the occupation in 2003, preventing the divided projects. The MP of the province, Ahmed al-Jarba said at a press conference, held in the parliament building, said that “the parliament voted in today’s session (yesterday) with majority vote on a resolution to keep the province of Nineveh on the administrative borders before 2003, as an Iraqi protected province , and can not make any change to its legal and administrative status , he “firmly believes that the” decision is binding for all, and can not be overtaken by any party seeking to implement projects of division in the province. “Al- Jarba pointed out that “The resolution authorizes the people of the province to determine the fate of their province after its liberation.”
Without better preparations for the next day, a battle of Mosul may to raise several wars in one war, and cause significant damage to the Mosul . such developments may make efforts to achieve stability in Iraq more complicated , which like the reconstruction to be non-existent in the Sunni liberated destructive towns and the return of a minimum of internally displaced persons, and the fear of abuses by the Shiite militias , these factors point to continue , and perhaps exacerbate sectarian tensions , with the chances of return Daesh or its successors. Although it is likely to succeed in the battle to grab back control of Mosul, but the local, regional rivalries may be turned into fast tactical success and then to a strategic setback afterwards .
The province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in terms of population, numbering about three million people, most of them concentrated in the city of Mosul. Most of the cities of Nineveh, located on the Tigris River, which enters the province from neighboring Turkey. The province away from Baghdad, 500 kilometers. Is one of the oldest cities in Mesopotamia as Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, was built at the beginning of 6000 BC. Later it became an important religious center for the worship of the god Ishtar, and it was named by the name Nineveh according to its founder , the Assyrian king Ninos.
The size of province is Amounting an area of 32 thousand and 308 square kilometers, and the most prominent cities of it are : Mosul , Baaj and] Shura, , Alhadhar , , Rabia, , Qayyarah, Qahtaniyah, and Kairouan, the Hamam al-Alil, , Tal Afar, , Tallkeef, , Bartila, , Sinjar, ,Qaraqosh, Zammar, , sheikhs, Karmales, and Alqosh, , Badhirh ,Tal Uzair, Ba’shiqah, and Mahlbah . the province Includes the graves of a number of prophets exploded by “Daesh” after entering to it , the most prominent prophet Jonah, and Nabi Sheet, the Prophet Girgis, as well as the oldest churches in the world, such as the churches of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Deliverance, Armenians, and Catholics, and Deir m. Georgis, and many others destroyed by the organization as a whole. And inhabiting in the province Arab majority amounting 80 per cent, divided between several religions most notably are Islamic , Christian, and Assyrian religions , in addition to the two Kurdish and Turkish nationalities , and religious minorities such as, Alsabiah, and Yazidi, Zoroastrianism, and Alkakaiah, and Assyrian and Shabak, prompting observers to express their fears that it could lead to a new conflict in the country in Iraq after the Daesh stage.
Just as the control of the organization of Daesh to the Mosul in June 2014 has marked a turning point in the history of terrorism and the path of war on it , so the liberation of this ancient City from it may be as a turning point also , but on the future of Iraq, and so this shift to be towards a better position, a clear understandings should be reached among the basic components of the current Iraqi position of the next day to defeat «Daesh».
The major parties expressing for these components do not conform only to face the «Daesh», and differ nearly on everything after that , hence the importance of the serious understanding on how to administrate Mosul after the liberation, and the necessary safeguards to protect its people from any reprisals may be exercised by factions of «popular crowd» the most fanatical ones . No less important than that is the resolution of the dispute over administrative arrangements in northern Iraq after the liberation of Mosul.
At the domestic Iraqi level, there are three projects I posed by leaders of major political blocs in the country, but none of them is likely to be made so far although the Iran supports one of these projects and the US administration supports another project. The three projects are the Sunni project , and the other is Kurdish , and the third sponsored by the Government of Haider al-Abadi , a popular crowd and of course it is the Shiite project . the first project pointed out , “Sunni forces project” that would turn Nineveh province into an independent region includes several governorates inside it to keep the entity of Nineveh and ensure of its non- division under banners and conflicting forces on the national and ethnic basis . The region includes several provinces after converting the district of Tall Afar, district of Makhmur , Nineveh Plain, Sinjar and urban areas(Al-Hadhar) to the provinces, while Mosul turn out to be province and is the capital of the region. ”
The second project (Kurdish) which is close to the project suggested by Sunni forces , that would turn Nineveh to several provinces and then resolve the Article 140 of the Constitution, which requires the resolution of the disputed areas and determine the population of the border areas with Iraq’s Kurdistan region in case they decided to stay in Nineveh or to be joined to the region through a referendum supervised by the United Nations. And then to transfer Nineveh to a region , a project, reacts with the Americans.
The project, which is sponsored by the Government of Haider al-Abadi and militias of the crowd backed by the Iranian regime, it is the stay of the situation for what it is before “Daesh”, which was rejected by the Kurds and consider impossible and the Sunnis see it to return to the previous problems that caused the emergence of the organization. According to this project, the reason for the Iranian regime and the militias’ support to the project or vision of Abadi is that the project theoretically means the Iraqi army control over these areas, but in practice is the control of militias affiliated to the Iranian regime over the province of Mosul.
However, it is unlikely to resolve the outcome of any of these projects after the restoration of Mosul, because these projects are contradictory in essence with the interests and visions of the Iraqi political forces noting that the dispute over the establishment of a Sunni region has been renewed , which requires an understanding whether to exclude this option, or to find a formula to it to ensure preservation the unity of Iraq, as well as the case for demanding of Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani for the new arrangement allows the introduction of the three provinces of minorities in the district of Sinjar , Tal Afar and the Nineveh plain, and the formation of local administration taking into account the diversity of the population, giving them the freedom to choose to stay within the current administrative boundaries or to join the Kurdistan region.
This is not a political problem only, but military Also, because the Peshmerga forces which belong to the Kurdistan government will have an important role in the battle of Mosul after its control on the north-eastern and south-western areas of the city , and the battle to liberate Qayyarah area near Mosul showed the importance of the role of the Peshmerga in providing logistical support and secure corridors, and this will be a role more in the battle of Mosul, the most difficult one , especially as the Peshmerga forces’ positions are closer and its concentration is better than the Iraqi army, these forces at the beginning of September were at a distance of between 12 and 25 km from the outskirts of Mosul, at a time when Iraqi army units , the closest of which were about 50 km away, and the «Peshmerga» do not raise in the minds of the people of Mosul a fear that was raised by factions of «popular crowd» . it is doubtful that the battle of Mosul to achieve critical success without playing a central role by Peshmega in it. It is difficult to imagine this role without a clear political agreement, and this agreement requires mutual trust noting that there is no indication on the availability of a sufficient amount of it yet.
If the Kurdistan Regional Government doubts the intentions of the government in Baghdad ruled by Iran’s political line, there are also doubts of the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his aides in the goals of Massoud Barzani from behind the idea of the provinces of minorities. If the battle of Mosul failed to achieve a decisive result, in case of the non-participation of the Peshmerga in it , the organization of «Daesh» will be able to launch counter-attacks, Its success without understandings about what after it then creates serious tension may open the door to a confrontation between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and prevents the achievement of hopeful stability in northern Iraq, which could confuse the cards in the region. It is not ruled out in this case that the growing relationship between the Baghdad government and the PKK and Turkish ally, Syria (Democratic Union Party) opponents of the Kurdistan Regional Government, which means that if it happens , it will put the Baghdad government in a confrontation with Turkey, which is engaged in a battle against the Kurdistan Workers’ , which maintains a close relationship with the Government of Erbil. Therefore, attention should be paid to the need for understanding on the arrangement of papers before the launch of the battle to liberate Mosul so as its result not to be the end of a unified Iraq, which aims to put an end to the presence of «Daesh» in it.
In the evolution of the remarkable events in the frame to reach political understandings among the Iraqi political forces before beginning the battle to liberate Mosul, and at the invitation of Haider Abadi, the Iraqi prime minister, Massoud Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan arrived on 29 of last September to the Iraqi capital Baghdad. According to private information obtained by Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies , the two presidents agreed not to enter the Peshmerga forces and the popular crowd to the city of Mosul, and this is confirmed by the US administration. Haider al-Abadi also said the Turkish military presence in the proximity of the city of Mosul is not acceptable, however, Massoud Barzani, has not commented on this presence. The latter informed Haider al-Abadi in the course of the meeting that he is a collaborator with everything and there are no problems to hinder this cooperation. In this meeting it was agreed on the formation of a military commission between the Federal Government and the Government of Kurdistan region – Iraq. Based on those the information obtained by the Rawabet Centre a military meeting was held also between the two sides attended for by the federal government of Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff, and the commander of ground and air force, and Deputy Chief of Staff of operations, while the meeting was attended by all the Kurdish side, Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, the accompanying military delegation includes Shaykh Ja’far in charge of the force of seventy in Kurdistan region of Iraq, who was minister for Peshmerga and Kusrat Rasool , Vice-President of Iraq’s Kurdistan region and Dr. Fuad Hussein, president of the Diwan of presidency of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and the two sides agreed that the Iraqi army enter areas controlled by the Peshmerga and also enters the city of Mosul.
And to go beyond of the internal conflict over the future of Mosul, the Iranian regime has an interest in determining the fate of the province of Mosul, and the Raabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies has already addressed in a series of articles the importance of the Iranian regime’s control over the city of Mosul after Daesh stage, this importance emphasized by “Khalilzad” , the former US Ambassador in Iraq, in a newspaper interview a few days ago, saying: “the events in Mosul are important , in the context of Tehran’s desire to see Daesh defeated , and also as part of a wider ambition of it to weaken the hostile Sunni groups. It also is important to the future of the area of Tal Afar, west of Mosul. In addition to being home to the Shiite Turkmens, it’s likely that the Afar will provide Iran with locations on both sides of the intersection of the Iraqi ,Kurdish, Syrian and Turkish areas, . And to control of this neighborhood will allow for Iran to impose its power on behalf of the Assad regime in Syria, and the harassment of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq. ”
The regime of Iran, and its militia in Iraq, wants to have a share in Mosul after Daesh, because it is well aware of the importance of the city, it is seeking to open another landline to be joined with its alley, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, because it is well aware that Anbar line is fraught with danger, even if restored it temporarily after the liberation of the city from the control of the organization. The Iranian regime, and under the pretext of protecting the Turkmen Shiites, the population of Tal Afar in Mosul, pushing to promote the participation of the popular crowd in that battle, and that the crowd to have a big presence in the battle, which is considered by some politicians of the Iranian regime, before politicians of Baghdad, decisive in determining the nature of influence of Iran in the next phase.
the Iranian regime played a major role in the war against al Daesh Iraq, as actively involved either directly through military advisers, or by proxy through the formation of popular mobilization of the Shiite militias, in several battles in the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar, and the direct attendance record to Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. So the fear pervaded the inside and outside Iraq of great prominence of militias of popular crowd, which is seen by observers of the Iraqi affairs as an Iranian disguised army of occupation of Iraq, especially in light of the collapse that has befallen to the regular Iraqi forces, with the control of the organization Daesh to vast areas of the country, in the summer of 2014 . From this angle, it would mean to make way for the militias of popular crowd to participate heavily in the battle of Mosul, an opportunity for the Iranian regime to turn its political influence in Iraq to the actual field control. And isolate it from the Arab world, especially with the Gulf Arab states in Iraq after Daesh stage. In this context it can be understood the control of confusion on the positions of the Iraqi prime minister to bet on the popular crowd at the restoration of the areas under the control of Daesh. The Abadi bet that the Iraqi forces could take over the task of liberation, but the Iranian pressures made him to review views and calls for a greater role for the crowd. According to the special information obtained by the Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies with the participation of the popular crowd at the Battle of it , the crowd will take part in the battles that will take place on the outskirts of the city of Mosul, particularly in the city of Tal Afar. And the involvement of any popular crowd , ally of the Iranian regime in the battle of Mosul, it means not to Haider al-Abadi’s commitment to one of conditions of Barack Obama to continue maintaining the support of his adminstration for Iraq in its war against al Daesh, this also means that there is not the will of the Iraqi government to comply with the second condition “not to marginalize the Sunnis and the Kurds of Iraq’s political process in the post-Daesh. ”
On the other hand, it does not seem that Turkey is interested in being away from the liberation of Mosul , despite internal preoccupations after the failed coup attempt, The forces of Turkey are in the camp of Ba’shiqah near Mosul , the forces that have provoked Baghdad a few months ago, although the those troops are in agreement with Baghdad and Erbil. Turkey is considered the province of Mosul part of its security space in northern Iraq. It is worth noting the one who has gained the upper hand in Mosul , it could have a highest sound in Iraq in the future, not to mention the regional neighborhood, which Ankara knows well , and fears that Iran or Kurds, opponents of Turkey will have the outstretched hand in the city. Thus, Turkey will not leave the liberation of the city away from it, whatever the cost. Therefore, Turkey expressed its willingness with military intervention in the battle of Mosul.
After the success of Turkish military campaign, ” the operation of shield of the Euphrates,” which began on August 24 in the liberation of many Syrian areas adjacent to Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in greeting ceremony prepared by ” endowment of Turkey for donors” in Istanbul on September 13 of this year , about the possibility of his country’s military intervention to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the organization “Daesh,” saying: “the Syrian people satisfied with our operations, no one complains of these operations only terrorists, and this shows that we are on the right track, and we believe that Iraq needs a similar process. The solution of the problem of the Mosul passes through listening to our point of view and a good evaluation for the development of the region, and I hope from the central government in Iraq, and influential countries in the region to see this fact, and I call on all those who believe that the achievement of happiness and stability in the world is linked to resolving the crises of the region to support our point of view about Iraq. ”
Turkish President is based in his speech to what was approved by the Turkish Parliament on 2 October 2014 to allow the Turkish military intervention in Syria and Iraq by a majority of 298 votes out of 396, where the armed forces authorized to use force in Syria and Iraq, and given the power to take action in it if there are risks “related to Turkish national security ,” and yesterday on Saturday ,Turkey’s parliament approved overwhelmingly to extend the Turkish military mission to continue its military operations across the border in Iraq and Syria, an additional year. With this extension the Turkish army can move around and do all military operations until the end of October 2017, outside its country’s borders, especially in Iraq and Syria. In this context, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that his country’s troops will play a role in the restoration of the city of Mosul under the control of the organization Daesh , pointing out that any party can not prevent it. The Turkish president said at the opening of the legislative session this year, last Saturday, “We will do our best in the operation of liberation of Mosul and we must be at the solution table and should not limit ourselves to monitoring and will not allow Shiite militias and the PKK to participate in the process and we will do what needs to prevent this game “. He continued by saying, “In our opinion, the local, Arab and Turkmen forces are able to liberate the city.”
According to information obtained by the Rawabet Centre for Research and Strategic Studies in respect of Turkish military intervention in Mosul that intervention will come in the context of providing the necessary support for national mobilization and the Peshmerga, as well as providing military support to the Iraqi army if asked by the latter from the Turkish government, Turkey is represented by its army does not have any intention to seize Iraqi land and the Turkish military intervention in Mosul aims primarily to protect Turkish national security and the protection of Turkey’s allies in Iraq.
The authorization of Turkish military intervention in Iraq and the statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Turkish intervention in Mosul have been met with severe reject by some Iraqi political forces and religious authorities , for the first level , MP Ahlam Husseini , rapporteur of Foreign Relations Committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, called on Sunday, Iraqi Council of Representatives to respond to the Turkish parliament, which has given a new mandate for his army presence on Iraqi soil, who considered it a blatant interference in Iraqi affairs, and the lack of respect for national sovereignty. Husseini added that “this mandate is the occupation of Iraqi territory” as she demanded the Security Council to issue a resolution condemning the Turkish presence in Iraq. For her part , MP for the coalition of state law, Firdous al-Awadi, considered the Turkish parliament vote for the survival of Turkish troops in Iraq and Syria, before the Battle of Mosul, as a lack of respect for the Iraqi request, the departure of these forces from Iraqi territory. Al-Awadi said the decision “is a declaration of confrontation with the security forces and the popular crowd, which will deal with these forces in the same treatment, which treats the organization of terrorist Daesh ” and al-Awadi called the central government, to “stand firm, to Turkish ambitions , whether political or economic ones . ” As for the rejection of the religious authorities of the Turkish intervention in the battle of Mosul, the religious authority , Qasim al-Tai has issued fatwa to the need to fight Turkish forces in Ba’shiqah of Nineveh province , and stressed that the fight against those forces is legitimate and moral duty . Tai said in a statement on Sunday, “We must fight the invading Turkish forces in Iraq,” as he described it . He explained, saying that “resistance to the Turkish military presence in Iraq, especially after the Turkish parliament’s vote on the presence of these forces is a religious and a moral and social duty.” the religious authority called on to resist those forces by economic boycott to the Turkish companies and goods.
If the Iranian regime depends on the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Shiite militias and military advisers in its management of the battle of Mosul, the Turkey based on approach to three-dimensions. The first dimension is based on the direct support of the Kurdistan region, headed by Massoud Barzani, and thus support the Peshmerga in its battle to regain Mosul. The second dimension is based on supporting militias of National crowd of several Arab tribes, estimated at about 6,500 fighters, led by former Nineveh governor , Atheel Al-Najefi , which is training at Camp of Bashiqa, a military base established by Turkey in northern Iraq with the blessing of the Kurdish regional government and the opposition of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad, and in coordination and cooperation with the United States to fight Daesh. Osama Najafi , the leader of Mutahidoon coalition had informed the US envoy Macgork about ” his position and the position of the people of Nineveh and the leaders of the Alliance of Iraqi forces, rejecting the participation of the popular crowd in the battle to liberate Mosul.” The third dimension is the responsibility of the Turkish government in its implementation and according to private information obtained by the Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies, the military units of the Turkish army will take part in the battle of Mosul, as the aims of this participation to expel or eliminate the PKK and the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party “Branch of Syria “and Shiite militias from Sinjar in the province of Mosul city and keep it in close distance to Tal Afar of the same province , as it sought from this stay to offer assistance to the Turkmen of that city so at the national level, to provide assistance to both Sunni and Shiite Turkmen and in sectarian level to provide assistance the Sunni Turkmen .
Faced with this contradictory internal and external projects as well as extreme fear of participation of the popular crowd pro-Iranian regime in the battle of Mosul , we wonder: How can we go to that battle in an Iraqi divided environment and competing regional environment on Mosul ? If the battle of Mosul is basically an American option, Barack Obama , President of the United States should realize that the dangers of battle Mosul before reaching to a clear understandings , and deal with it in a way that does not look only to what will go down in history for him, perhaps he will commit a disaster no less gravity than those committed by his predecessor, George W. Bush when he decided to invade Iraq in 2003 without consideration to the day following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. And perhaps the Battle of Mosul, in this case will lead to the end of Iraq with its known borders for nearly a century .
Rawabet Research and Strategic Studies Center