Posted on October 3, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Military, Mosul
Ex-Iraqi army chief of staff General Babakir Zebari. Photo: AFP
HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Islamic State (IS) militants will either leave their stronghold of Mosul without major resistance or they will stay and fight a “bloody war,” according to the veteran Kurdish commander, Babaker Zebari, who also served as the chief of staff of the Iraqi army.
“IS has said they declared their Caliphate in Mosul and if they were to lose it they would lose it in Mosul, which is why I predict that if they fight, there will be a bloody and heavy war,” Zebari told Rudaw.
The city is virtually under complete siege by the Iraqi and Kurdish forces, with only one escape route available for the militants to leave the city for the Syrian border.
According to an Iraqi military expert who has studied IS capabilities to defend Mosul, the group has limited resources to resort to.
Ihasan Qaisson told Rudaw that IS has already dug several ditches around the city which it will use against incursion attempts by coalition forces.
“The group has already placed a great quantity of crude oil in many of the ditches, which they will set on fire to distract visibility for coalition warplanes targeting IS bases in the city,” Qaisson said.
A large-scale military operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State group is due to start in October, Said Mamuzini, a representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP in Mosul,told Sputnik.
French warplanes are flying over Iraq after the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier rejoined the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State extremists — and as the coalition prepares to try to take back the key city of Mosul.
In August U.S. General Joe Votel, head of the US military’s Central Command said that Coalition-backed Iraqi forces can retake the key northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State group by the end of the year.