The battle for Mosul will be different from all other battles that have taken place in Iraq . The tenth of June 2014 formed a milestone in the path of the Iraqi crisis in particular and in regional crisis in general, where the organization Daesh dominated over the city of Mosul. It resulted in dramatic fall of the city to the collapse of the Iraqi security and military system, allowing its troops (estimated at that time by tens of hundreds of fighters supplied by light and medium weapons) to control of four Iraqi provinces noting that the total area occupied by ISIS was more than 40% of the area of Iraq . The rapid progress of the organization led by Daesh and its approach to the capital , Baghdad , has made a religious authority , Ali al –Sistani to issue fatwa of Ulkipaia Jihad under which the popular crowd was founded , and the United States has established an international coalition of more than 60 nations to fight the organization .
The importance of the Battle of Mosul comes from being as a central gravity for al Daesh in both Syria and Iraq , and from which al – Baghdadi announced the birth of his “state,” and occupies a unique strategic position taking in to consideration that it is the link between Turkey, Syria and Iraq , including the Kurdistan region, as it is located on the New Road, which the Iranian regime seeks for decades to reach through it to the Mediterranean Sea, so all parties affected by the outcome of the battle of Mosul , are seeking to take part in it to secure their interests.
The battle could be erupted at any moment , regardless of the differences that exist around it .It is clear that the decision to speed up the start of the battle came as a result of American private calculations. the US administration decided to wage the battle of Mosul before the end of the presidential term of President Obama and wants to be resolved before presidential elections scheduled on 23 of next November . And so for several reasons , including: to enhance their presence in the depth of Iraq, particularly in military base «Qayyarah» that was liberated several months ago, which lies 58 kilometers south of Mosul, a strategic location which is very important to confront any Iranian ambitions in Iraq, at the expense of the influence of American interests , which Americans once again seeks to establish them through their participation and their supervision of the battle to liberate Mosul, and the adoption of an invitation to keep away the popular crowd to participate in this battle. And to achieve a military victory against al Daesh to record for Barack Obama personally and supports the candidate of the Democratic Party and increase her opportunities to access to the White House, also includes a direct message to Russia that the US president was able to take strategic decisions until the last days of his presidency and that he is not a lame duck.
Americans chose the Iraqi army and «Peshmerga» as a major force in the battle of Mosul. And they strengthened the presence of their troops with more troops, at the request of the government. They were reassured since the Russian intervention in Syria and established a security coordination unit with Baghdad and Damascus and Tehran in Iraq, that Moscow will not be called to Mesopotamia as is the case in the Levant.As If there is an understanding between the two important countries on the sharing of power: we are here and you there. This is what can be indicated by the Russian campaign on the Aleppo on the one hand and the upcoming US campaign on Mosul. The common denominator here and there is Iran and Turkey. This is the reason for the high noise between regional and local parties involved in the war on Adaash regulation accompanying to the campaigns on the two main cities. It is clear that there is a public struggle between Tehran and Ankara to inherit «Daesh» in the whole province of Nineveh, as well as the appetite of Kurds who do not hide that their sacrifices in the fight against terrorism will not be free. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government since the days have warned of the risk of participation of popular crowd at the Battle of the restoration of Mosul. It does not hold any weight to the objections of the government in Baghdad, which transferred the crisis between them to the Security Council, which the other reduces the importance of the complaint filed by Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, as it was announced by the minister himself. And the government of Ben Ali Yildirim is not alone in opposing the participation of the popular crowd. Washington also objected it. As well as the leaders of « Sunni tribal crowd » . While the «crowd» is insisting for his role in the liberation of the city.
Followers of the Iraqi affairs warned that the endeavor of Washington to assemble the interests and agendas of conflicting parties can turn the direction of the battle to the marginal battles among different sectarian militias that Turkey and Iran are behind it in stead of the original battle with Daesh . The Americans sought to reassure everyone that their place reserved in the battle, noting that they show their support for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in his response to the derogatory remarks of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and says that any participation in the war is bound to be in coordination with the Iraqi government.
Analysts saw that what worries Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not the course of the battle of Mosul, but the new balance of power that will result. Icahn Erdemir from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy , a Washington-based, says “he was concerned about the ethnic and sectarian composition in Mosul and wants to make sure that there is no domination of “the Kurds and the Shiite” on the city . he adds “Ankara do not want to stay out of the game in Iraq,” Soner Kgbtaa , director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute considered that the speech of hard language of Turkish officials shows that they were “in the process of preparing for the post of Mosul.” In contrast, the Turkish writer Wierda Ozer detailed Turkey’s concerns in an article of her last week that changing of demographics of the Mosul will facilitate the task of the Iranian regime in the localization of Shiite militias in the town of Tal Afar, and every population of Turkmens, what makes them under the influence of Iran, making Afar other Iranian base .
So, complicated social, military , geographical and political factors make the battle of Mosul difficult, noting that these factors are not present during the battles of the restoration of Tikrit and Baiji, Ramadi, Fallujah and Rutba , thus Mosul entered in the international calculations with Turkey’s accession to the events, and everyone seeks to participate and draw the future in accordance with its interests, and the outcome is that the military battle will provoke a political , national, religious and ethnic problems that have been remained unresolved for decades.
The battle of Mosul is a contradictory armed formations unlike the rest of the battles that the Iraqi government has fought against al Daesh in Salahuddin, Anbar, Diyala through the forces of the army , the federal police and Shiite factions allied with it , there are other armed formations seek to participate in the battle of Mosul, each with their own objectives. Such as the popular crowd , and troops of Atheel Al-Nejafi , and the PKK, and Turkish forces. All of these forces have one goal is the elimination of al Daesh, but the disputes among them are severe, and there is no joint coordination for the upcoming battle.
In the previous battles of Iraqi army against al Daesh, the Iraqi Army was able to achieve victories overwhelmingly in Salah -alddin, Anbar, Diyala, areas inhabited by only the Sunnis, but in Mosul, the issue is more complicated, the province of Nineveh, the second largest city in Iraq, in terms of population, numbering about three million people , mostly concentrated in the northern city of Mosul. As inhabiting in the province ,the majority of the Arab by 80 per cent, divided between several religions notably Islamic , Christian, and Assyrian, in addition to Kurdish and Turkish national groups, and religious minorities such as, Alsabiah, and Yazidi, Zoroastrianism, and Alkakaiah, and Assyrian and Shabak, prompting observers to express their fears that this will lead to a new conflict in the country in Iraq after the Daesh stage.
This complex combination will turn the military battle into a religious, sectarian and nationalist battle, where Shi’ite factions are seeking to regain control of the city of Tal Afar, which includes about half a million of Shiites from the Shabak community, while the Peshmerga seek to control the Sinjar district and areas of Nineveh plain of Christians and annex it to the Kurdistan region , noting that the Sunnis reject the participation of the Shiite factions and Peshmerga in the battle.
And what’s more worrying about Mosul, is not the militar battle, but the future of the city after the expulsion of extremists, the sharp controversies revolve around how to administrate the big the province of Nineveh in the future, and proposals appeared to be divided into separate administratios for each other. The most prominent disaster that the organization of Daesh leaving is the demographic change that has happened in Nineveh during the past two years, where all Christians population of groomed by about 150 thousand Christians were emigrated from Mosul and areas of Nineveh plain, they are now living in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, while others migrated to Europe and the United States . They reject the return to their places again, and a lot of Christians who live in the camps say that they had lost confidence in Mosul’s population, and they are afraid of reprisals. The same applies to the Shiite Shabak, who live in Tal Afar and their number about half a million people have fled, mostly to the shiite provinces of Karbala and Najaf, , and say they will not return to their city, which is surrounded by Sunni towns from each side.
The first controversial proposals that emerged during the past few weeks is to divide Nineveh into several provinces according to its national and religious divide, in terms that there will be special cities for Alaazaidiin , Christians, Sunnis and Shiites independent from each other and are protecting themselves without worrying about neighboring cities. The Iraqi government does not have a new vision for the future of Nineveh, and seeks to re-administrative system that existed prior to the occupation of Daesh which is based on a single province includes all Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish and Alaesideh towns . the traditional Sunni political leaders began arranging their papers in order to claim forming regions in Anbar and Nineveh, and former governor of Nineveh, Atheel al-Nejefi suggests the establishment of Nineveh region , while officials Anbar are demanding to turn the province to the region as well.
Noise will not stop that is accompanying to the preparations for the battle of Mosul. It is likely that it will not stop during the battle, which is now close to or after its completion. This is due to the diversity of the parties aspiring to participate in the liberation of the city. And the different agendas of these parties. More importantly, it has historically formed a link knot between Mesopotamia, Iran and Turkey. So, it will mark its future after liberation to the fate of Nineveh province and the future of the entire Iraq and the people of the Sunnis in particular, and other forces involved under the slogan of fighting «Daesh» . Those who will hold it or they share it , they will have the influential word by the sharing of power in the entire country. For this reason, perhaps the zero hour to the start of the war for liberation will be delayed. The time may be delayed waiting for what was to become of the fate of the city of Aleppo. Americans who run practically the battle of Mosul, and they draw the borders of the roles are concerned with the fate of the terrorists after its liberation. There is no doubt that the organization Daesh will find no choice but to go to Al-Riqa, the last refuge. Which could alter the course of the war in Syria as a whole. Perhaps hampered the plans of the regime in Damascus and its allies , Russians and the Iranians and which raise the slogan of military settlement as a basis for any settlement for the crisis in the Levant.
If the fate of Aleppo will decide Syria’s future, the fate of Mosul also will decide the future of Iraq. The Iranian regime will reap a lot of restoration of Damascus, the capital of the North. And it will have a share of the restoration of the second largest city in Iraq, which may be sliding into civil wars. The question remains about the share of Turkey, and the role of the United States and Russia, which bear the brunt of the campaigns in the management here and there. Do they have the power to draw regional landscape or handing over to the regional powers, to harvest what they planted ? Thus, the confrontation of Turkey with the Iranian regime in Iraq has become clear , which inevitably will cast on the prospects for cooperation or future conflict between them in Syria Daesh , or that only military defeat will result in a new organization even more extreme?
Rawabet Research and Strategic Studies Center