|Iraq and Kurd Forces attack|
Just Think of Imperial Japan
- The Japanese eagerly fought to the death for their divine Emperor.
- Islam is no different. For 1,400 years terrorist Islamists have savagely fought their religious wars to kill infidels. Putting down Islamist terrorism has not worked so well over the years.
- The Kurds might be our friends today, but 100 years ago they joined in on the slaughter with the Assyrian Christian Genocide and Armenian Christian Genocide.
(Reuters) — A week after his tank division punched through Islamic State defenses on the southeast edge of Mosul, an Iraqi army colonel says the fight to drive the militants out of their urban stronghold is turning into a nightmare.
Against a well-drilled, mobile and brutally effective enemy, exploiting the cover of built-up neighborhoods and the city's civilian population, his tanks were useless, he said, and his men untrained for the urban warfare they face.
His Ninth Armoured Division and elite counter terrorism units fighting nearby seized six of some 60 neighborhoods last week, the first gains inside Mosul since the Oct. 17 start of a campaign to crush Islamic State in its Iraqi fortress.
Even that small foothold is proving hard to maintain, however, with waves of counter attacks by jihadist units including snipers and suicide bombers who use a network of tunnels stretching for miles (km) under the city.
They appear able to strike at will, often at night, denying the troops rest and rattling frayed nerves.
"We're an armored brigade, and fighting without being able to use tanks and with soldiers unused to urban warfare is putting troops in a tough situation," the officer told Reuters. He asked not to be named because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
|Iraqi soldiers celebrate by posing with the Islamic State flag |
along a street of the town of al-Shura. Thomson Reuters
Battle for Mosul
"In Mosul, we have to advance inside residential areas, comb streets, clear houses from terrorists and deal with civilians. I'm afraid this job is too tough for us to handle".
He said it was impossible to differentiate between civilians and fighters who melt in amongst them. Islamic State has forced its dress code on the population during the two years it has controlled the city. Men are required to have long beards, something the militants are still policing.
"Our soldiers can't recognize them until it's too late, when the attacker either detonates his explosive vest or throws a grenade," the colonel said, adding that he lost two T-72 tanks and an armored vehicle in a single day's fighting on Tuesday.
"It's becoming a nightmare and it's nerve-wracking for the soldiers," he said.
The jihadists had dug a 70 km (45 mile) network of tunnels just on the eastern side of the Tigris River, which runs through the center of Mosul, since they took over in 2014.
Using the tunnels they were able to surprise troops inside the city, striking between 2 am and dawn when their defenses are at their lowest. "They are not ready for these surprises - it's the tunnels which have caused our greatest losses," he said.
|45 Miles of ISIS Tunnels|
An Iraqi special-forces soldier is seen inside a tunnel used by Islamic
State militants in Bazwaia, east of Mosul, Iraq.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Government forces were only in full control of two of the districts they entered last week.
The army says it has captured five other districts, but fighting continues in all of them and Hashemi said in some neighborhoods the army had been driven back three or four times - often at night - before reclaiming territory the next day.
With its tanks unable to navigate narrow city streets, the Iraqi army has called on U.S. Apache helicopters to target car bombers. The Pentagon said on Monday they would continue to be used "in what we expect will be tough fighting to come."
One of the most devastating tactics the militants employed, which helped them tie down a far greater force than their own, was to send consecutive waves of small units - about 50 strong - against the troops so they could never let down their guard.
The militants call the operation "crashing waves". Each unit includes suicide bombers, snipers, assault fighters, and what they call infiltrators, as well as logistics and mortar experts.
"Each one only fights for a short period and is then relieved by the next group - it exhausts the army," Hashemi said.
Although they face a coalition of Iraqi army, special forces, Kurdish peshmerga and Shi'ite paramilitary groups which may total around 100,000 fighters, the asymmetric war strategy has so far meant the 5,000-strong jihadists in Mosul have tied down the advancing troops, without using their full reserves.
"The only way they will leave is when they are dead," he said, adding they were also holding residents as human shields against air strikes.Read More . . . .
Iraq War 2016
Kurdish Special Forces & Militia In Heavy Urban Clashes During ISIS Attack On Kirkuk
Iraqi Forces In Heavy Clashes With ISIS During Intense Combat Action In Fallujah
|Lexington and Concord|
We Forget Our Own History
Our moronic politicians and army generals beat their chests saying defeating ISIS is not problem. Somehow the words "Vietnam", "Imperial Japan" and "Afghanistan" never enter their little minds. The fact of the matter is Guerrilla Warfare is brutal and sometimes nearly impossible to put down - Ask the Soviets about Afghanistan.
The Americans loved Guerrilla tactics. Shooting British officers in the back from behind trees was great sport.
British view of Lexington and Concord:
"During the whole affair the Rebels attacked us in a very scattered, irregular manner, but with perseverance & resolution, nor did they ever dare to form into any regular body. Indeed, they knew too well what was proper, to do so. Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob, will find himself much mistaken. They have men amongst them who know very well what they are about, having been employed as Rangers against the Indians & Canadians, & this country being much covered with wood, and hilly, is very advantageous for their method of fighting."
British Earl Percy