battle

BATTLE OF MOSUL AND FEARS OF THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR UNDERSTANDING

battle

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

 

 

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