The battle for Mosul

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Peter1469
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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby Peter1469 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:05 am

Russia has a long history of conflict with the Turks in the form of the Ottoman Empire. They fought numerous wars from the late 16th century until the Soviet Union. Their natural "empires" clash with one another. The region was also key during the Cold War. Russia has a naval base in Syria at Tartus. (And now an airbase).

Their current interest in Syria is two-fold.

1. To support their ally Assad (and protect their naval base and access to the Mediterranean.)
2. To use as a bargaining chip in negotiations over the Ukraine (I think this is their primary interest).

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby UncleRansom » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:47 am

I'll agree with your assertions but regard your first their primary interest. They're deployed their SA-23 in Syria that can fire ballistic missiles and act as a defense shield. I don't think the Russians plan on going anywhere, I don't believe this is a short term negotiation tool.

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby Peter1469 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:02 am

I agree that they will leave troops there. They have had forces stationed in Syria since 1971- that won't change. When I say they will use it as a negotiating tool I mean the strength they show in Syria gives them more power in negotiations over the Ukraine. They can make small concessions in Syria for large gains in the Ukraine.

It is a vital interest to the Russians.

However, the Ukraine issue is an existential (meaning survive or die level) issue for Russia. Kiev is 463 miles from Moscow. http://www.happyzebra.com/distance-calc ... Russia.php

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby UncleRansom » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:58 am

Pete. This doesn't amount to a continued troop presence since 1971. The Russians stepping up military operations and thus into Syria's civil war wasn't a 'quagmire' as the President predicted it would be. They've remained and built airbases, naval bases, deployed advanced missile systems, this doesn't appear to be a reactive and in support of the Assad regime endeavor anymore...does it? You seem to be saying here that this Russian intervention was a card Russia intentionally played? Was it a card that strengthened their hand then?

How some opinions and positions evolve, I wonder if Obama still thinks Syrian involvement is a quagmire for Russia while Peter is explaining it's actually increasing Russia's sphere of influence and political power.

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby UncleRansom » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:03 am

I wonder if our sphere of influence or bargaining position might be stronger had we acted earlier in regards to extremism in Syria.

Might be time to bring your friend out. The one made of straw.

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby Peter1469 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:22 am

UncleRansom wrote:Pete. This doesn't amount to a continued troop presence since 1971. The Russians stepping up military operations and thus into Syria's civil war wasn't a 'quagmire' as the President predicted it would be. They've remained and built airbases, naval bases, deployed advanced missile systems, this doesn't appear to be a reactive and in support of the Assad regime endeavor anymore...does it? You seem to be saying here that this Russian intervention was a card Russia intentionally played? Was it a card that strengthened their hand then?

How some opinions and positions evolve, I wonder if Obama still thinks Syrian involvement is a quagmire for Russia while Peter is explaining it's actually increasing Russia's sphere of influence and political power.


The Russian naval base was built in 1971 and remains to this day. It will remain after the war in Syria is over. Yes, Russia's involvement gives them more clout in the talks over the Ukraine. Syria can't become a quagmire for Russia if Russia doesn't send massive numbers of ground troops to get bogged down.

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby Peter1469 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:23 am

UncleRansom wrote:I wonder if our sphere of influence or bargaining position might be stronger had we acted earlier in regards to extremism in Syria.

Might be time to bring your friend out. The one made of straw.


We helped the extremists in Syria by opposing Assad.

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby Peter1469 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:34 pm

ISIL made lots of tunnels under Mosul and are popping up all over to attack the Iraqi army.

Islamic State tunnels below Mosul are a hidden and deadly danger

“They’re everywhere,” said the Iraqi intelligence officer, sweeping his arm from this ancient Christian village toward the horizon. The Iraqi captain was searching for tunnels dug by Islamic State fighters.

The officer stomped on the ground. “Here. We found one, then three, now six. Right here.” And over there? “More,” he said. “And more.”

Villages recaptured from ISIS over the past three weeks by the Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi army forces on the road to Mosul have been honeycombed with tunnels, many of them booby-trapped.

In the past three days, commanders say Iraqi forces have faced the hardest fighting of the offensive as they entered Mosul, made worse by extensive tunnels that are allowing ISIS fighters to appear seemingly out of nowhere, attack, then retreat to the hidden bunkers.

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby Peter1469 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:40 pm

Update:
Casualties mount as Iraqis press deeper into IS-held Mosul

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As Iraqi forces struggle to secure the gains they made over the past week on Mosul’s eastern edge, the fight against IS has quickly morphed into close-quarters urban combat. With it, casualties among Iraq’s troops and civilians are spiking.

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Re: The battle for Mosul

Postby Peter1469 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:24 pm

The Kurds and Iraqi SoF have moved closer to the Tigris River, which splits Mosul. They are gaining control over that side of the river. Coalition aircraft have destroyed most of the bridges over the river, which cut off ISIL's supply lines. When the coalition forces need to cross the river they will use pontoon bridges, which Western forces have most likely taught them.

Airstrike hits Mosul bridge, disrupting Islamic State supply lines

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Black Humvees carried wounded soldiers back from the front. The body of a special forces soldier killed in combat was wrapped in a blanket on the hood of a vehicle. The Iraqi military does not release official casualty figures, but field medics say dozens of troops have been killed and wounded since the Mosul operation began last month.

Mortar rounds, artillery and gunfire rang out throughout the day, punctuated by occasional booms from airstrikes that sent plumes of smoke into the air.

A pre-dawn airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition struck a bridge across the Tigris River, which divides the city in two, leaving only one crossing intact and disrupting IS supply lines. It was the second bridge to be struck this week, and two other bridges were destroyed by airstrikes last month.

Until now, most of the fighting has been on the eastern bank of the Tigris. Iraqi forces are expected to use pontoon bridges when they reach the river.


A spokesman for one of several state-sanctioned Shiite militias meanwhile said they had seized a road to the northwest of Mosul linking the city to Raqqa, the de facto capital of the IS group’s self-styled caliphate. The militias have been converging on Tal Afar, an IS-held town west of Mosul that had a Shiite majority before falling to the extremists in 2014.


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