Joint forces to storm Mosul in months... Kurds are backup force
The Peshmerga forces have arrived in the outskirts of the city of Mosul, in northern Iraq, which is under the Islamic State’s (IS) control, amid preparations for storming the city with the support of the U.S.-led international coalition, local sources from Mosul reported on Thursday.
In the meantime, the so-called Popular Mobilization Forces -- armed Shiite factions and volunteers -- arrived in the city of Dohuk in the Kurdistan Region to be trained in a camp there and then join the fight against the IS militants.
Kurdish military officials said that this ground attack will be widespread to target the IS strongholds, particularly those located between Syria’s al-Bukamal and Iraq’s al-Qaem areas, pointing out that several military units from Jordan, Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia will take part in the operations.
Iranian and Kurdish special units will support the Iraqi army in the invasion of the IS-held provinces of Anbar and Nineva.
On the other hand, the IS group in Mosul is studying a plan for the upcoming battle, taking into consideration the need for more military capabilities and economic resources to stand against the attack.
“Thus the radical group is thinking of an effi- cient strategy to repel this ground attack on their strongholds in Mosul,” a military source said under condition of anonymity.
Iraqi activists published what they described as “leaks” about proposals and notes received by the IS commanders in Mosul, including: “Preparation of militants trained on special operations, and their deployment on the battlefronts as quick as possible.”
Additionally, IS will deploy a network in the battlefield in an attempt to secure the jihadists’ communication. Also, the group seeks to appoint flexible moving positions of command to lead the units on the fighting fronts as well as taking strategic decisions on time, according to the leaks.
The leaks included a variety of backup plans that cope separately with the nature of each fighting front, as appointing leaders of high ranks for the decision-making process.
The group has reportedly started digging trenches across Mosul to be ready for confrontation and deter the attacks, local sources said.
According to the leaks, the group will “respond fiercely” to what they described the “hostile forces centres” in an attempt to prevent them from approaching Mosul.
In an earlier statement, civil rights activist Ali Abboud said in Mosul that the Peshmerga forces pounded the city with rockets end of January, when more than 18 grad rockets hit IS headquarters in areas like Qadisiyah, Muthanna and Rasheed.
Mosul was controlled by the IS radical group last June. The Sunni tribes – who had been alienated by the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s policy– facilitated the radical group’s control over the city.