Mosul, the Mysterious Battle

Abdalaziz Alhamza “RBSS”

In June 2014, ISIS controlled over Mosul in my circumstances especially with the withdrawal of the Iraqi army from the city without any real battles. As a result of that, the terrorist group took a large amount of weapons which made it easier for ISIS to invade more and more cities and villages in eastern Syria. The complicity of the Iraqi forces was so clear then.

In May 2016, several forces started preparing for Mosul battle and a lot of sectarian slogans started to spread. In the 17th of this month, Mosul battle has started. Several parties have involved in the first attack among which there are the Iraqi army, Shiite troops, Iranian troops, Turkish troops, Kurdish troops along with the international coalition.

Media exaggeration regarding this battle raises several questions about the natural of this battle and its actual goals. It seems now that the battle has changed in to an international race for who reaches Mosul first.

The displacement of Mosul people to eastern Syria

With the preparation for Mosul battle, several concerns have raised. People of Mosul started to feel that they will be the main victims of it that is why a large number of people have moved to eastern Syria. The UN expected that a million people will be displaced as a result of this battle. In the early days of the battle, a number of four thousand people have crossed the Syrian-Iraqi borders to Hasakah. And later on, hundreds of families have displaced and crossed the borders to reach Deir Ez-zor, eastern Syria.

ISIS movements before and after the battle

The terrorist group moved several Iraqi leaders from the group’s controlled areas in Syria to Mosul along with several troops from Deir Ez-zor and Aleppo. Moreover, the terrorist group has executed one of its leaders on the charge of collaborating with the Iraqi army.

Will Raqqa be the next target?

Although the battle has not finished yet, several international discussions have been conducted regarding future options. It is expected that the terrorist group is planning to make Raqqa its main stronghold in case of losing Mosul. The French prime minister declared that the next target will be Raqqa and the international community should support the Syrian opposition forces, which are fighting ISIS and Assad, in order to liberate Raqqa city. An important question comes to mind, what are the implications of Mosul battle on Syria, especially after the Turkish pledges about removing PYD from Manbij and liberating Al Bab from ISIS?

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".