The Fight Against ISIS to Reclaim Mosul

The War Against Terrorism

Coalition Forces
Photo courtesy of Khalid Mohammed of AP Photos

Khalid Mohammed

Coalition Forces Photo courtesy of Khalid Mohammed of AP Photos

Wayne Chan, Photojournalist

For months Iraq has been forming a plan. Last week the plan was carried out and Iraq launched an assault to reclaim the largest city under the Islamic State’s control, Mosul.

A number of allies have joined the fight to assist in retaking the city. According to the New York Times not only has the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Turkish forces cooperated in the offensive, but also the United States. President Obama, since the beginning of his presidency, has attempted to remove United States presence  from middle eastern regions. However, despite his wariness, President Obama still sent around 600 troops to aid the coalition forces in reconquering the stronghold. According to Chicago Tribune, so far there has been one american casualty. The soldier died outside of Mosul;he was killed by a roadside bomb.

Together the coalition creates a strong military of approximately 90,000 troops. The forces have advanced through a string of villages, nearing the heart of the stronghold. According to CNN as of Monday, October 24th, 78 villages have been reclaimed and liberated from terrorist control, and over 800 ISIS militants have been killed.

However successful the offensive has been, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is still resisting the offensive fiercely. According to CNN, anticipating the attack, the terrorists lined the roads with booby traps of mines and different explosive devices. ISIS has also been fighting back by using suicide bombers. Suicide bombers wear bomb vests that detonate once the host is shot, or detonate at the host’s control. Suicide bombers also use cars as a way to create protection for themselves as well as a more devastating explosion. Another method of defense the Islamic State has employed is tunnels. They have dug a web of underground tunnels. Iraqi soldiers have been ambushed by reappearing militants. These tunnels allow the terrorists to hide, escape, transport weaponry, and ambush any advancing forces. ISIS has also used retribution as a form of deterrence. The militants hide in villages after they are conquered by Iraqi forces. The militants emerge after Iraqi forces pass by and murder the liberated villagers. ISIS also uses humans as shields against the barrage of gunfire they receive. An Iraqi intelligence source reports that 284 male adults and children were brutally executed after being taken and used as human barricades. The militants have also burned tires and oil rich fields as a way to physically blind any drones or aerial support units, and to create toxic fumes. Zack Co (10) says that the treatment of humans by the Islamic State is,

“horrible and disturbing.”

Although the radical terrorist group has made the reclamation more than a struggle, the Iraqi forces should be able to emerge victorious.  If successful, the offensive could mean the end of ISIS control in Iraq.