Mosul Aftermath – ISIS Defeated in Mosul but What Comes Next?

Map Northern Iraq

Mosul Aftermath – DoD statement on fall of Mosul, CTS struggles to re-organize, 10th Mountain Division heading to Iraq, GAO report on countering ISIS, ‘Down but not Out’, ‘What’s Next’, and more.

DoD Statement on Fall of Mosul. The spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) provided his perspective on the victory by the Iraqi government forces and its allies in the fight against ISIS in Mosul. See ISIS Dealt Significant Blow After Iraq Retakes Mosul, Official Says, Department of Defense News, July 13, 2017.

Iraqi-Counter Terrorist Service (CTS) Aftermath. The CTS (Iraq SOF) was heavily engaged in the months-long struggle to re-capture Mosul from ISIS. However, it came at a heavy cost. In the Mosul aftermath it will need time to refit and retrain. Read “Iraqs Elite Special Forces Struggle to Regroup After Bloody Fight for Mosul”The Washington Post, July 21, 2017.

GAO Report on Countering ISIS. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a 47-page report on US government efforts to counter ISIS. The report identifies 9 key issues. SOJTF-OIR gets a mention. See Countering ISIS and Its Effects: Key Issues for Oversight, GAO, July 18, 2017.

‘Down but not Out’. With the defeat of ISIS in Mosul observers are now trying to figure out the next moves for the terrorist organization. Certainly ISIS is not going away in the Mosul aftermath. As long as the Syrian and Iraqi governments continue their shoddy treatment of the Sunni population the ISIS movement will continue to receive a measure of popular support. We must also recognize that ISIS is more than just a terrorist group. It has lost much of its initial Sunni support due to its brutal occupation practices so the counterinsurgent forces have a window of opportunity. It will be interesting to see if they learn from the past. Read more in an article by Scott Stewart – “Down But Not Out: How the Islamic State Could Rebound”STRAFOR Worldview, July 20, 2017.

‘What’s Next?’ Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge is interviewed about what happens after Mosul. He is the director of the Combined Joint Operations Center in Baghdad. He says ISIS is still active in the western Iraq desert and in the ‘Hawija pocket’. See “After Mosul: What’s next for the fight in Iraq”Marine Corps Times, July 20, 2017.

10th Mountain to Iraq. The Soldiers of the 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division are heading to Iraq as part of the regular rotation of forces. The unit is based at Fort Polk, Louisiana. They will replace 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division. Read “Army announces Iraq deployments for 2,100 soldiers”Army Times, July 20, 2017.

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