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Mosul...not the End of ISIS - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Dubai – The liberation operation in Mosul has kicked off on 17 October, two years after its fall under the control of ISIS following the escape of Nouri al-Maliki’s forces on 9 and 10 June 2014.

However, this battle has been difficult on all levels, and apparently will not put the end of ISIS, despite the national, regional, and international insistence on its importance; politics have not changed, the reform process and the national Iraqi consensus have failed, conflicts and divergence among different parties’ agendas have persisted from Erbil’s government to the Baghdad’s government, and the regional and international partners.

Strategic experts and political analysts see that the permanence of incubators contributing in nurturing ISIS again have been the most dangerous part in the war against ISIS; in 2007, a previous state announced by Al-Qaeda in Iraq collapsed, but it returned two years ago in a bigger state after the fall of Mosul to eliminate a 100-year stability on the Iraqi-Syrian borders.

Organization’s tactics

First: New tactics of ISIS: the organization has used new tactics to confront the forces targeting it in Mosul; these tactics have appeared in 2015 but they still obstruct ISIS’s defeat; they can be defined as follows:

1. Abrupt attacks away from Mosul: Like those launched in Kirkuk on 21 October by around 40 suicide bombers with the help of many sleeping cells; they tried to seize the city controlled by the Kurds; terrorists attacked the government’s headquarters, security departments, and police directorates and killed around 90 Kurdish police members.

2. fleets of car bombs: used by ISIS in raiding Iraqi and Peshmerga forces few days ago, which confused these latter’s activity. The terrorist organization has also increased numbers of tunnels and human shields in Mosul’s villages and cities.

3. Nature and participation of the Popular Crowd Forces: The “Popular Crowd” militia, which represents the higher reference of Shiite militias and comprises thousands of militants who have pledged allegiance to Iran’s Supreme Leader; it has announced its participation in the battle on 28 October. It is worth mentioning that most of this militia’s members were previously accused of violence practices against Sunni people in Mosul and Anbar during the rule of the Former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki; many of its members were also among the important symbols of the Iranian Revolution and members in the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.

Sequences of the Syrian crisis

Second: the crisis sequences from Syria to Iraq: according to the United Nations, reasons behind the creation of ISIS -the most dangerous organization in the world – particularly in Syria and Iraq can never contribute in its eradication. Nouri Al-Maliki has returned and Bashar Al-Assad still controls Syria; and the sectarian speech against the Sunni citizen -possible incubators for ISIS- has continued. Thus, ISIS has took benefits from the persistence of the same reasons and circumstances that created it; Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, former spokesperson of ISIS, who was killed on 30 August called residents of Anbar to combat the oppression of Maliki’s regime and to re-support its organization.

Maliki’s return and Assad’s persistence

Nouri al-Maliki has maintained his sectarian statement; he recently praised the Iranian role in Iraq and linked the battles of his country with what he called liberation of Syria and Yemen.

The revival of ISIS and its state have been part of the Syrian crisis repercussions, which turned into a sectarian war stimulated by the forces of Assad’s regime and its Iranian allies.

The call for Shiite victories against the Syrian people, which was kicked off by the so-called Lebanese Hezbollah followed by Iraqi militias has dragged many extremist Sunni groups to partake in this war as a Jihadi duty and not a civil revolution.

Assad’s persistence in the rule and the rejection of the political solution proposed by Geneva I Announcement will offer ISIS and similar groups more chances to continue this sectarian war.