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The Sieges of Aleppo and Mosul with Later Coverage of the Battle at Raqqa

syria iraq qassem suleimani isis daesh muslim brotherhood nusrah jihadis aleppo mosul raqqa popular mobilization forces hezbollah quds force udhr

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#16 mmoghand

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:10 PM

We are getting more detailed maps for the Iraqi-Kurdish advance on Mosul. CBS News added that DAESH has an open route through the desert and Tal Afar toward the west.

If so, that is something of a change. Work so far had been set on laying a wide siege, then drawing it tight.

1UA59RO.jpg

Tal Afar was taken months ago. Nasty fight with the town center changing hands at least three times. Drawing DAESH out in the open might save civilian lives at Mosul but the last thing you want is for these resources to make it back to Syria.

Unless your game is good ol' perpetual war. Loosing an extra 6,000 DAESH murderers on Syria and then Europe... perfect. Protect the DoD and CIA budgets for a decade.

(G.R.O.W.)

Edited by mmoghand, 24 October 2016 - 08:24 PM.


#17 mmoghand

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 02:02 PM

Military blogs are starting to compare the siege at Mosul with earlier battles. We have to include the World War II fight at Stalingrad in this conversation.  That was likely the biggest and the baddest clash of mechanized armies of all time. In terms of casualties the military losses will not match up because the forces at Mosul are smaller by factors of 20 and 100 than the titanic forces that battered each other at Stalingrad. For civilian losses, on the other hand, Mosul has a likely 750,000 people still in the city boundaries with DAESH killing those who try to escape.

 

Aleppo is different altogether. The battle there is now a simple siege. Civilians die by the hundreds a month, not tens of thousands, and there are now eight open gates to get out. Families are fleeing Aleppo and the al-Qaeda/Nusrah and Brotherhood defenders are inept at stopping it.

 

By way of comparison the cities of Stalingrad (now Volgograd, formerly Tsaritzin) and Mosul are roughly comparable in pre-war size, population, and economic productivity. Lots of stuff was being manufactured at Mosul. This was a modern city

 

Stalingrad and Mosul. Sensible estimates:

 

850,000 population in 1940. Down to 1,500 after the battle. // As many as 1,500,000 in 2014. Now down to 750,000 or possibly as low as 400,000.

 

1,600,000 Axis troops vs. 1,200,000 Russians // 75,000 Allied troops vs. 6,000 DAESH fighters and suicide bombers

 

10,250 Axis artillery pieces vs. 13,450 Russian artillery pieces // 600 Allied artillery pieces vs. ???? DAESH

 

500 Axis tanks vs. 900 Russian tanks // <100 Allied tanks vs. nothing. [DAESH never figured out using its captured tanks.]

 

300 Axis aircraft vs. 600 Russian aircraft // 75 Allied aircraft vs. nothing.

 

The Battle of Stalingrad lasted from August 1942 to February 1943 // Mosul is expected to fall in 2 months to 4 months max.

 

 

1.bild.jpg

 

Germany's Sixth Army attacked Stalingrad. Eventually the Russian counterattack succeeded in surrounding the whole of that army. Surround-and-annihilate was applied with few prisoners taken on a day to day basis.

 

Eventually 91,000 Sixth Army soldiers and officers were captured at the final collapse. Between 5,000 and 6,000 of these men survived, 5,000 returned home in the 1950s.

 

DAESH at Mosul can expect similar extermination. For civilians, unfortunately, survival could prove impossible if the battle goes on beyond a couple of months. Water and food will run out. "Humanitarian pause" is very unlikely where DAESH is a player.

 

In Stalingrad the population started evacuation before Sixth Army brought in heavy artillery -- Mosul's population is forcibly prevented from taking off. In Mosul the Allies will have to capture whole neighborhoods to enable local evacuations. Gaming the Mosul battle, civilian losses can rise into the 200,000 to 300,000 range. It's that bad.



#18 mmoghand

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 07:57 AM

Bangkok Post got the same angle.

Mosul and Aleppo, a tale of two sieges

Sieges of cities, once a major part of warfare, grew rare in the course of the 20th century, mainly because of the rise of air power. You didn't need to besiege cities any more, because you could just smash them to smithereens from the air: Guernica, Dresden, Hiroshima. But that's not so easy in the era of instant global media coverage.

 

Seventy years without a really major war have allowed us to develop a major dislike for killing civilians from the air. Nobody on either side would have been the least bit reluctant to blast Aleppo or Mosul into oblivion in 1945 if it served their strategic purposes, but moral tastes have changed.

........

 

The Islamic State's five or six thousand fighters have had years to prepare their defences, and street fighting uses up attacking troops very fast. Even "precision" airstrikes in urban areas always mean lots of dead civilians, but central Mosul will not fall unless the US uses its air force to dig the defenders out. [Prepare for Mosul to resemble Aleppo from bombed out apartment buildings to bleeding children.]

 

Even the current advance across relatively open country south and east of Mosul relies on the massive use of air power to keep the attackers' casualties down. When the troops reach the city limits, the whole operation will stall unless the US government starts serious bombing in the built-up area.

 

If it does that, then the civilian casualties will be quite similar to those inflicted by the Russian air force in eastern Aleppo. But the Western media will doubtless still find ways to see a huge difference between the two.

 

DAESH in Mosul, Al Qaeda in Aleppo with Brotherhood for "muscle." And dead civilians by the many at both cities. If anything it looks like Mosul will be bloodier because Al Qaeda and Brotherhood generally don't kill their civilians. DAESH kills anyone, sometimes everyone.



#19 aus

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 09:30 PM

I do not think we have changed much. We don't care about civilian deaths unless it is our side that suffer. I afraid civilian deaths will not matter if we win.I would prefer less air attacks but this is wishful thinking .



#20 mmoghand

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 10:43 AM

In Syria:

News out of Aleppo has the al-Qaeda / Nusrah / Jabhat Fateh al-Sham affiliate halting anti-government actions to carry out a knife-in-the-back slaughter of a local Sunni militia called Fastaqim.


That's not the first time al-Qaeda in Syria has killed dozens of Sunni militiamen.

ISIS has been doing this as far back as 2011. As soon as they got anti-aircraft guns mounted to trucks and the suicide bombers, the first targets were Sunni militias.

My take on ISIS and al-Qaeda is that they kill people anywhere they can get away with it. They've killed a helluva lot more Sunnis than Christians, Sunnis, Druze, Alawite combined.

In Iraq:

The allies are tightening the noose at Mosul. Villagers outside the city have fled approaching Kill Zones.

Meanwhile ISIS released an audio tape purporting to be al-Baghdadi rallying the troops. The tape has strange elements to it:

-- A promise that ISIS will arrive in force to win the battle

-- Casting the fight as a sectarian struggle, an effort to cleanse Islam

That sounds like 2014 when the big guns came into action at Tikrit. The city ended up split by sectors and was still split when the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Force arrived to retake the whole area.

There is still no definitive confirmation that al-Baghdadi is alive. One report from back November 2014 had him killed by a bunker-buster bomb. That was out in western Anbar. Keeping a dead leader "alive" is a cool lie for these outfits. Whatever.

AI forces are advancing up to do a close-in surround on western Mosul:
 

Mosul-map-update-November-2th-2016-696x4


Edited by mmoghand, 03 November 2016 - 11:05 AM.


#21 aus

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 06:38 PM

Mosul will fall soon. It is hope that there will be few civilian deaths. But given the nature of the battles this seems unlikely. Then after the fall the real battle between sunnies and shites will begin.



#22 mmoghand

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 10:29 AM

Mosul will fall soon. It is hope that there will be few civilian deaths. But given the nature of the battles this seems unlikely. Then after the fall the real battle between sunnies and shites will begin.

 

What's "soon" ???

 

Also, there's a major misunderstanding in this comment as to what has been happening with the ISIS predations. ISIS has never attacked a Shia region, either in Syria or in Iraq. ISIS is jihadi and Salafi, not a part of the worldwide Ottoman-based Sunni community.

 

They slaughtered Yazidis and Christians, but that was part of rolling up Sunni villages and cities where their largest slaughters took place. Their targets have been Sunnis. Always.

 

It's amazing that Shia are willing to fight the Sunnis' battles for them. If the Shia had sat back, ISIS could have kept going, killing the Ottoman-based Sunnis by the millions.

 

Kurds mix Suni and Shia. They like whiskey more than religious posturing.



#23 aus

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 07:36 PM

It is true that Is has never attacked a Shia state like Iran, Although you could claim it has Shia this is not true in Syria and Iraq, They have slaughtered Shia in areas they control. If Sunnies let Shia fight the battles it is perhaps because they think both IS and Shia are evil and they do not want either in control.



#24 mmoghand

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 02:34 PM

Two changes have rolled in during the past weeks that do not relate to Mosul or Aleppo, at least directly.

 

1.) Bashar Assad had a meet-and-greet with press and "think tank" people. He's not going anywhere. His army is winning. Despite Western insistence on ignorance, he sees the jihadis as one pack of animals -- ISIS, Nusrah, Brotherhood, their supporters in GCC.

 

Something all but missed in coverage: after Aleppo falls to the surround-and-annihilate system, Assad reaffirmed that he expects to move to bringing his countrymen home ASAP.

 

2.) Raqqa is getting the very first efforts toward a surround phase with artillery mappings and high ground converted to battery placements. Kurdish units are getting their storage facilities filled. U.S. Air Force and Navy resources are hitting ISIS command and control resources. It's looking like this will take about the effort we're seeing at Aleppo.

 

Turkey is the one block, going forward. There's history of Turkish airstrikes on anti-ISIS Kurds.

 

Good news. With 400,000 - 750,000 civilians at risk in Mosul and nothing there going quickly, there's that.



#25 mmoghand

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 07:52 PM

After a month of fighting in the vicinity of Mosul, yesterday Iraq's advanced forces had taken the village of Kokjali. On our map back on Page # 1 that is spelled Gogjali, on the eastern edge of the map. Look 10 kilometers east of the Tigris River.

 

5581a9b271c3fe.img.png

 

Somewhere in here before the end of 2016, Mosul gets to a point where civilians start dying in numbers from thirst and then famine. Make the assault go faster, more civilians are killed with bullets and blast. Go slower, even more civilians die overall from lack of food and water and from DAESH predations.

 

The fighting is barbaric, fanatical. Sabah al-Numani, spokesman for the Counter Terrorism Service, told Reuters, "We have encountered heavy resistance from the enemy," he said, with what he called "obstructive patrols" of militant forces trying to hold up the advance. "We are facing the most difficult form of urban warfare, fighting with the presence of civilians, but our forces are trained for this sort of combat."

 

Military officers have told Reuters that the fighting is some of the most lethal they have seen, with small groups of militants using a vast network of tunnels and narrow streets to launch an apparently endless sequence of attacks against troops.

 

A Reuters correspondent in Kokjali, on the eastern edge of the city, saw U.S. Apache helicopters overhead. Explosions, either from air strikes or suicide car bombs which the jihadists have deployed in the hundreds since the campaign started on Oct. 17, could be heard against a backdrop of artillery fire. As smoke rose above the city, hundreds of civilians were on the streets of Kokjali, some of them local residents but others fleeing the fighting in Mosul itself.

 

The International Organization for Migration says nearly 48,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, still a relatively low figure compared to a United Nations warning before the campaign of a possible exodus of up to 800,000. Numani said the army had told civilians to stay indoors for their safety, adding that the counter terrorism unit aimed to hand over neighborhoods which it had secured to other forces. In other cities retaken from Islamic State, local police forces have moved in after the special forces have cleared territory.

 

That sounds about right. Fewer people at Mosul, but otherwise sensible. Another guess goes 400,000 to 750,000 based on aerials.

 

Kokjali / Gogjali is well outside the properly built up areas of Mosul. With fighting this messy in villages, downtown can be expected to be a blood bath. Far worse than Aleppo where water has been available generally and people have fled to the north and through every hole in the perimeter.



#26 mmoghand

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 03:02 PM

Inside Mosul the killing is running about 10 times what you see over at Aleppo. Defenders slaughtering the locals makes the most of it.

 

Here's from Mosul Eye:

 

Here is what’s happening at the Eastern side of Mosul: 

 

1- The Eastern bank neighborhoods are divided into two sections, just like the city: a half where it turned into a battlefield at the edges of those neighborhoods, specially Al-Karama and Al-Samah neighborhoods, and the most difficult situation is at Al-Khadraa apartments. A family of four, a couple with two children were killed today by a mortar shell dropped on their residence.

 

2- Water and power are cut for over a week from the area and people are stranded in their homes, they are afraid to stay and afraid to leave.

 

3- Al-Khadraa apartments are also divided into two parts: one is under fire, and the other under ISIL’s control. ISIL is trying to confiscate as many apartments as possible to turn them into military bases. Yet, people are holding their ground and refuse to leave their apartments.

 

4- All forms of life has stopped at the far eastern edge of Al-Khadraa apartments, and it is partially alive at its far western edge of the complex.

 

5- The residents at the rest of the neighborhoods are afraid that ISIL might take a retaliatory action against them, accusing them of apostasy. They fear for their lives because of the non stop bombardment.

 

Meanwhile, on the Western side of Mosul: 

 

1- The atmosphere is calm, but it is the quietness before the storm. This side of the city is living on a sleeping volcano of fear, anxity, and horror.

 

2- ISIL is trying to carrying out business as usual, especially its “real estate divan”, where it is actively confiscating people’s houses accusing their owners of “abandoning the land of Islam”

 

3- Life starts at 9:00 AM and ends at 1:00 PM. Very small number of people could be seen during those hours, and no store keep their doors open beyond 2:00 PM. 

 

4- Some families got divided into two halves – half of the family got stuck at the Eastern bank, and afraid to go back to the Western bank, and vice versa. Many families have arranged their position as such if they have to move from one bank to the other, they have a place to stay at each side of the city.

 

5- ISIL is moving lots of ammunition to homes belong to ISIL among innocent families. Those families live in horror. ISIL is forcing families surrounding those houses to stay in their homes and threatened to kill them if they try to flee. 

 

I don’t know if we will make it or not, but please inform the forces to be merciful and kind with us once they enter Mosul. Those forces are orderd to obtain all the civil records and documents from ISIL’s headquarters in the city. If you entered those headquarters, and you didn’t find those records, be sure to find them buried in their headquarters; they got secret storages in those headquarters and in the houses they occupied previously. Those records belong to Mosul and its people, and they must be preserved; Mosul’s modern history relies on those records. There are hundreds of manuscripts ISIL stole and they are in the possession of traders in the black market who are still in Mosul.

 

Please, return those manuscripts.

 

At the edge of a mass killing. Possible DAESH will take the Mosulis with them.



#27 aus

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Posted 12 November 2016 - 07:50 PM

i hope that Is will not take Mosul with them. I suspect they will flee to fight another day in Europe or USA.



#28 mmoghand

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 08:29 PM

Today's Guardian has a piece on the Mosul fight that gets location mixed up. They have the fight as "Qayara" which the iraq map has as the Qayarrah air base.

 

Most likely they're up at Shura, from the lay of the ground.

 

Inside Qayara, south of Mosul - in pictures

Anyway, the main Iraqi Army armored units cleared Qayyarah back a ways but these are fine picture, no matter, for understanding the basic way of life.

 

And yes there's oil patches burning all over.

 

Net effect of all this is that the locals are going to run out of water before ISIS gets its tails exterminated. The Jihadis are from places like Libya and Chechnya and Syria. Next to no Iraqi tribes represented. Don't expect them to be concerned with how many locals get killed.

 

ISIS hires, it doesn't breed its own. Not after they got out of Iraq anyway. Both Mosulis and at Aleppo are looking at similar goon squads:

 

98j1tur.png

 

 

Syrians in Syria and young Iraqis in Iraq are rare. The older ISIS fighters are dead. The politicals rely on Chechnyans to run the wars.

 

You can still get down a good bet either way on whether al-Baghdadi is alive or dead. I'm taking dead.



#29 mmoghand

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 09:05 AM

Gotta love it. The message of these flyers is that the war is over, the only question is how many of the anti-government Syrians get killed.

 

Come to the stadium, bring your top players for a game, after the game go home in peace. Easy-peasy.

 

1Hnb2kG.jpg

 

 

Thing is, this is credible. The government radio stations have spent months interviewing ex-rebels from all over western Syria. Same for talking with mayors.

 

The western half of the country is slowly moving back to normal. They need stable water and electrical power where the Jihadis held sway. Farming is an easier problem than getting cities together.



#30 aus

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 07:40 PM

This is a good gesture if real. In the end however the Assad governments wants no rebel control states. This is difficult giving the variety of people in Syria





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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: syria, iraq, qassem suleimani, isis, daesh, muslim brotherhood, nusrah, jihadis, aleppo, mosul, raqqa, popular mobilization forces, hezbollah, quds force, udhr

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