A month after the start of the joint offensive carried out by Iraqi security forces (ISF), Shiite militias and Kurdish "Peshmerga" forces, supported by US-led international coalition on Mosul, we can have a look at the first results of the operation. Apparently, they leave much to be desired.
First, early announcement of the operation provided ISIS militants with opportunity to prepare for a long-term defense, so that the coalition missed the chance to use the element of surprise. As a result, radicals strengthened their positions in Mosul and surrounding villages, forcing the attacking forces to join the battle in the conditions most favorable to the militants. Terrorists are actively using explosive devices which target both security forces and civilians.
Lives of the latter are almost completely ignored by the coalition. Unlike the terrorists, civilians were unable to take advantage of operation's announcement because the coalition command failed to effectively organize humanitarian corridors. As a result, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration, only 40,000 of refugees managed to leave the city which counts more than one and a half million people. The responsibility for the failure was pushed on the Iraqi security forces, who were forced to attack terrorists using civilians as human shields.
Furthermore, civilian death toll continues to rise due to coalition airstrikes targeting Mosul and its vicinity. Whole families fall victims: late October an airstrike carried out by U.S. Air Force at the village of Fadhiliya resulted in death of seven persons from the same family. Considering that the coalition air forces conduct dozens of air strikes on a daily basis, the number of casualties should be measured in hundreds, being significantly higher than the official data provided by the coalition.
While the US and its allies stubbornly deny any responsibility for civilian casualties, the consequences of their airstrikes are used by ISIS terrorists to justify the need for confronting "crusaders' coalition". Terrorists publish photos and video footages in social media to accuse US-led coalition of civilian casualties.
Obviously, the U.S. planned to liberate Mosul before presidential elections, which were expected to become victorious for the Democratic Party Candidate Hillary Clinton. Now, after Donald Trump's unexpected victory, the situation around the Iraqi city is getting more confused. The interest of Obama's administration in this problem is gradually fading, and there is no guarantee that the United States will be able to accomplish the operation in Mosul. Therefore, it is likely that the people of Mosul could find themselves in front of a humanitarian disaster and terrorists.
The city's population is between the hummer and the anvil: the coalition continues to conduct air strikes on Mosul, while the terrorists use them as human shields. And no side is confused by the deaths of civilians.