Foreign Policy Blogs

'the situation in Mosul is worse than imagined by far' (Iraqi Defense Minister)

Monday greeted the reports of five US troops killed in Mosul as a result of a roadside bomb, or IED. For a comprehensive definition of what an IED is, click here for the's explanation (click here for an Iraq specific explanation). The ‘pre-offensive’ is gearing up in Mosul, after Prime Minister Maliki announced the plans on Friday. Defense Ministry spokesperson Mohammed Askari has said “The largest portion of those forces have arrived already. They are Iraqi army forces and include troops, mechanized troops and air force…The plan will be similar to the ones implemented in Baghdad and Diyala [province].”

The real problems in Mosul stem from tensions between Arabs and Kurds, and has created a new flashpoint in the country's battle against internal sectarian and ethnic violence. Defense Minister Abdel Qadir Jassim Mohammed visited the city on Sunday, and gave a press conference saying that “The situation in Mosul is worse than imagined by far“. He also said that the Iraqi military's deployment in Mosul was scattered and lacked unity. The situation with the security forces was being rectified, according to him.
Following up on the bomb blast in Mosul on Wednesday, the death toll has risen to far beyond the initial report of 12. It is estimated to be about 60. The Iraq Red Crescent reported that many families had buried their deceased relatives without registering the deaths with the authorities or local morgue.