It’s been called the ‘mother of all battles.’ Iraq’s military launched an offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the ISIS terrorist organization. As this attack begins, get to know about the operation to drive these killers out of the city – and out of Iraq itself!
1. There are more than 1 million lives at stake.
Mosul is Iraq’s second-largest city. ISIS seized it in June 2014 and it became a vital cornerstone of the group’s self-declared caliphate (an Islamic state under control of a caliph, a religious successor to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.) While many have fled the city under ISIS’s tyrannical control, more than 1 million residents are still there, per CNN.
2. The Iraqi military is not the only force fighting in this battle.
“This is the first time that the block of the [Kurdish] Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army are mixed and shared in the battlefield against the terrorist organization, Masoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan, said at the start of the operation.
3. Nearly 100,000 troops will be involved.
Up to 54,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces will be joined by about 40,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. 14,000 paramilitary units (9,000 Sunni fighters, 5,000 minorities including Christians, Turkmen and Yazidis) will take part of the offensive, while Shia paramilitaries will be tasked with securing the area around the city. French, US and British air strikes have helped with the attack, while the US has lent 500 advisers for the operation.
4. This may be ISIS’s last stand in Iraq.
Retaking Mosul will likely result in ISIS being vanquished from the country, according to the Telegraph. Plus, losing the oil-rich Nineveh providence will hurt ISIS in its ability to fund its terror organizations. So the forces are expecting a heavy fight with the 5,000 to 7,000 ISIS fighters estimated within the city.
5. It’s going to take a while.
“This operation to regain control of Iraq’s second-largest city will likely continue for weeks, possibly longer,” Lt. general Stephen Townsend of the US said ahead of the offensive. The offensive has already been attacked by IEDs and suicide bombings, so many are ready for the long haul to finally liberate Mosul from the clutches of this evil organization.
What do you think about this massive military operation to attack ISIS and retake Mosul, HollywoodLifers?