Just as the Iraqi government announced the beginning of the operations to liberate Mosul, the country’s second largest city, Iraq’s internal political turmoil threatens to reverse what has been achieved against ISIS.
The Iraqi army launched an offensive 12 days ago to capture a group of villages south of Mosul. The battle of Mosul is being led by the Iraqi army’s 15th and 16th divisions; both are newly formed and contain a majority of Shiite soldiers.
While Sunni tribes, Kurdish forces and U.S. airstrikes are supporting the effort, the outcome will be determined by the effectiveness of the Iraqi armed forces. Results so far have been mixed, with reports of stiff resistance from ISIS.