The invasion of Mosul is extremely imminent at this point, with several reports indicating that the plan is to launch the Iraqi-led invasion of the city, the largest in ISIS territory, sometime in mid-October. ISIS isn’t just waiting for it to happen, however, as is busily preparing.
Locals are reporting that there is virtually non-stop construction around the outskirts of Mosul, with large concrete barriers being erected all along tjhe area, and arranged in largely the same way as the ones the Iraqi military put there when they were trying to defend the city from ISIS back in 2014.
Areas leading into Mosul from Qayara, which is to be the staging area for US and Iraqi troops, have been entirely walled in, while another wall is being hastily assembled in the east, where Kurdish forces are expected to try to push into the city.
A lot of the locals don’t like their chances, believing ISIS predictions of an unassailable city are just empty promises, but the heavy activity suggests that, unlike some of the other cities that have recently fallen, ISIS is heavily invested in trying to keep Mosul.
The battle is going to be an enormous one either way, but ISIS does have a comparative advantage this time in defending a city much farther from Iraq’s supply bases around Baghdad, as opposed to cities like Fallujah and Ramadi which were just a stone’s throw away from the capital.
Indeed, over the past year the Pentagon spent a lot of time warning they didn’t think the Iraqis had any chance of pulling off this invasion, and while officials appear to have gotten on board at the last minute, it will be a monumental challenge.
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