For months now, the Iraqi army has been talking about launching an attack to retake the second largest city of the country, Mosul, from the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists. A former US Army infantry officer, who served in Iraq, has made an explosive statement that invading forces will have to come prepared for launching a 10-year siege to take back Mosul.
James R. Snoddy, a former US Army infantry officer who served a year in Iraq as an infantry platoon leader from 2005 has said in an opinion piece published in Foreign Policy that an attack on Mosul is bound to turn "into a ten year siege."
Terming the plans to retake Mosul from Isis as "a lot of loose talk," Snoddy said: "In my non-General Officer, very tactical-level opinion, an assault on this place would turn into a ten-year siege, perhaps longer."
The Islamic State terrorists captured the Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014 and since then Isis has remained in control of the city.
The Iraq war veteran noted that even if the forces moved in from all major entry points towards Mosul and sealed the city, the Isis forces still will be able to get "reinforcements and supplies" through several open routes.
"After we pushed through, grabbed the squirters, and sealed Mosul off from the rest of the world, I'd settle in for a siege and a ten-year war of attrition. Some folks think we could starve them out. But it's a big city and carpet-bombing is not an option. Smugglers exist everywhere. Resupply is not far away," Snoddy observed.
The war veteran said that the US forces also battled the same problem for months, without much success.
Despite having three larges bases, police stations and Iraqi army posts, besides Small Kill Teams, the insurgents were still able to move freely around Mosul getting resupply and reinforcements due to "...the sheer size and type of urban terrain" he added.
The view expressed by the US war veteran also were echoed in a recent report by Michael R Gordon, the chief military correspondent for The New York Times, who said: "As challenging as Ramadi has proved for the Iraqi troops trained and equipped by the United States, the effort to retake Mosul is expected to be much tougher."