Sunday, May 21, 2017

Victory declared?

map update. Green= completely liberated. Orange= frontline clashes. White= control.

This is day 214 of The Mosul Slog.

Still not fully liberated or 'liberated.'

Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) observes:

At the beginning of the month, Iraqi officials were bragging about their substantial military gains against ISIS, saying that ISIS held less than 10 percent of the Old City area of Mosul, which is about 30 square km in size. Today, Iraqi special forces declared their mission accomplished, noting ISIS now controls only 8 square km of the Old City, which is more than 25%.
This has been a recurring problem for Iraq, which has been anticipating declaring outright “victory” over ISIS in Mosul since December of last year, and keeps projecting the “end of the month” every time a new month starts and ISIS still remains in the city.

The Islamic State still controls portions of Iraq.

And yet "victory" has been declared.

What's next?

Hayder al-Abadi planning to stand under a banner that reads MISSION ACCOMPLISHED?

The Mosul Slog has been a disaster.

Human Rights Watch notes:

Iraqi government-allied troops arbitrarily detained at least 100 men in late April 2017, in some cases torturing them during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said today. 
Human Rights Watch interviewed three men from al-Hadar, a village 90 kilometers southwest of west Mosul, who were detained by the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) and two local officials who had knowledge of the detention operations in the area. The men said the fighters detained them as they fled their homes because of the fighting, and held them for up to 15 days in a school building and in one case a home in an area solely under PMF control. Their captors interrogated them about possible Islamic State (also known as ISIS) links, and in two cases beat them with thick metal cables, before releasing them and a small number of other detainees. Other detainees told them they had also been beaten during interrogations.

“Given the previous track records of PMF abuse in the area of screening and detaining local men, Baghdad should treat these findings with the gravest concern,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Authorities should do all in their power to ensure that families fleeing the fighting around Mosul are able to get to safety, not tortured in secret facilities.”

This is not new and this is the reason one person is not going to Iraq:

I cancelled my humanitarian trip to Iraq this week and posted my reasons why on Facebook.

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