Is Mosul Operation Intended To Send ISIS Fighters to Raqqa To Fight Assad?
Oct. 18, 2016 (EIRNS)—According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the U.S.-backed operation to liberate Mosul, Iraq, from two years of occupation by ISIS, has left a corridor out of the city open.
"As far as I know, the city has not been encircled completely," he said this morning during a joint press conference with the foreign minister of Paraguay.
"I don’t know the reason for this, but I hope they were just unable to do so rather than unwilling. At least, the remaining corridor creates the risks that ISIS will leave Mosul and Iraq for Syria. If this happens and additional ISIS contingents turn up in Syria, where our forces have been operating at the request of the legitimate government, we will assess the situation and adopt political and military decisions. I hope that the U.S.-led coalition, which is actively involved in the operation to seize Mosul, will focus on this, too."
Lavrov is not alone in his suspicion that the United States may have plans for the ISIS militants in Mosul other than simply killing them there. The Independent’s Robert Fisk reports that the Syrian army suspects that the US intention is to drive ISIS out of Mosul in order to swamp Syria with the hordes of ISIS fighters who will flee their Iraqi capital in favor of their "mini-capital" of Raqqa inside Syria itself. Fisk reports that Syrian intelligence has already heard of demands by ISIS in Syria’s eastern Hasaka province for new electricity and water supplies in towns that it controls there, in preparation for an influx of ISIS fighters in Mosul. The same thing had happened earlier this year when when Fallujah fell to U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and many of the ISIS fighters there fled to Syria.
"In other words," writes Fisk,
"if Mosul falls, the entire ISIS caliphate army could be directed against the Assad government and its allies—a scenario which might cause some satisfaction in Washington."