Saturday, December 24, 2016

The battle for Mosul goes badly and the Iraqi "Gold" Division may cease to exist.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Iraqi force tasked with liberating the city of Mosul from ISIS is overstretched, suffered great loss and exhausted and is putting a few hundred new recruits through a crash course for battle. That is the elite Golden Division.

The defeat of ISIS and its expulsion from the second largest city was entrusted to this force of 10,000 trained soldiers from Iraq’s different ethnic backgrounds. And they have been on the forefront since the offensive was launched on October 17.

The operation to retake this city is getting tougher over time, hampering the liberation and increasing the number of casualties of the Golden Division.

Furthermore, the US Central Command (Centcom) argues that the current success achieved in the fight to liberate Mosul “has come at a terrible price, one that could have dire consequences for Iraq in the long run,” said quoted by Politico.

The Golden Division commanders warn that they may eventually liberate Mosul but with a little force left in the end.

“If the war continues this way, we will lose many of our fighters by the time we have liberated the left side of Mosul,” warned a commander with the said division.

However, Major General Maan Zaid, a key commander with the given division, allayed fears of a potential Golden Division destruction by the end of Mosul war. “There are no wars without casualties. The operation to liberate Mosul will surely cost lives,” he explained.

ISIS is using modern weapons in Mosul, such as the anti-tank missile known as Kornet which has severely afflicted the Iraqi army.

“ISIS is using powerful weapons in this war. But our casualties are less than reported,” Zaid added.

The Iraqi Prime Minister has said on a few occasions that they will liberate Mosul this year. However, Zaid said, “It is difficult to predict with precision when Mosul offensive will finish.”

Zaid also said that they have inflicted heavy losses on ISIS, “1000 ISIS militants have been killed on the front I lead alone.”

Some in the division doubt this number.

“This war is strange. Sometimes we regain control of a complete neighborhood without seeing an ISIS body. We haven’t seen more than 5 ISIS bodies in each of the neighborhoods we have liberated so far,” a Golden Division soldier told Rudaw on condition of anonymity.

“The more neighborhoods we liberate, the more encircled ISIS will get, the more car bombs and suicide bombers they will send, and the more intense they will fight. The war will, therefore, get tougher. Mosul offensive needs strong warriors,” said a Golden Division commander on condition of anonymity.

“Put simply, the Golden Division’s fight for Mosul could go down in history as one of the greatest victories of the Iraqi government—and its last,” warned Mark Perry in an article published by Politico, How Iraq’s Army Could Defeat ISIS in Mosul – But Lose Control of the Country.
If the above isn't worrying enough then check this out...
The United States 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division is advising the Golden Division in its push into Mosul.
You don't send a Brigade Combat Team to advise a division.  You send a Special Forces Detachment.

Not only has SOCOM given up on the "advise" mission but our guys in the 101st are probably leading Iraqi forces in this fight.

The war continues and no one is paying attention.

Worse.  Current policy will probably see US troops trying to stitch back Iraq for the foreseeable future.  The Marine Corps might not wear desert cammies stateside but they most certainly will when they're spelling Army troops and taking over the mission outside Mosul.

Side Note.  Weren't we told just a few months ago that Mosul would shortly be liberated? 

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