web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Guerrilla-Terrorists ISIS Seize Mosul, Iraq: Territorial Strategy

Central Iraq is heavily dependent on Tigris water, and if the guerrillas can hang onto Mosul, and the access points to the Tigris, they will sit between the river’s main reservoir in Iraq and its customers.
The flag of ISIS.

The flag of ISIS.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

While it is not clear yet how much of the city the terrorists hold, what is clear is that Iraqi government forces collapsed and fled from the advancing ISIS attackers (“Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham,” also called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant).  The collapse of Iraqi authority has been underway since Sunday, and the most recent reporting indicates thousands of local residents are fleeing to escape ISIS.

In conjunction with the persistent ISIS assault on Anbar Province, to the southwest, the attack on Mosul is a geostrategic one.  ISIS is, in fact, trying to position itself to eventually take over Iraq, and control the interior nexus between Iraq and Syria.

Mosul isn’t just any city in northern Iraq.  It’s the most important hub of government and commerce – and the reason for that is the same reason ISIS wants it.  Mosul sits astride the Tigris River, which forms one of two main approach corridors through western Iraq to Baghdad, the other being the Euphrates River.  (See maps. Map 2 shows the Euphrates corridor six months ago, from this analysis of the growing ISIS threat.)

Map 1. The Tigris and Euphrates approach corridors -- and lifeblood arteries -- into central Iraq. (Google map; author annotation)

Mosul is downstream from the extremely important Mosul Dam, which was built on a flawed construction premise in the 1980s and is in a precarious condition.  Central Iraq is heavily dependent on Tigris water, and if the guerrillas can hang onto Mosul, and the access points to the Tigris, they will sit between the river’s main reservoir in Iraq and its customers.

ISIS corridor in the Euphrates valley. Google map; author annotation.

That is the same position they’ve been fighting for in Anbar Province along the Euphrates.  These guys aren’t stupid, and they’re not just blow-em-up-Allahu-akbar terrorists.  They’re executing, slowly but surely, a pincer move on Baghdad.  If ISIS has any hope of establishing itself on territory, it has to control some water.  In arid Iraq, water and lines of strategic approach are the same thing.

They’re also the lifeblood of civilization.  The farmers need water from the two great rivers, and so do the city-dwellers.  ISIS doesn’t have to be in charge of doling out the water, at least not at first.  The position its leaders aspire to – beyond holding what’s necessary to consolidate a territorial redoubt for themselves – is being able to threaten the water supply.  They are very close now to achieving that goal.

I do not assess that ISIS has a plan to literally attack Baghdad any time soon.  For the time being, ISIS wants to hold Baghdad at risk and be able to extort and snipe at the Maliki government.  Subverting Baghdad itself won’t be feasible until ISIS has established a broader base in both western Iraq and Syria.

What are ISIS’s chances of success?  The way to frame the answer is to recognize that conditions will have to change to defeat ISIS.  Iraq can’t do the job by herself.  Unless those conditions do change, ISIS has pretty good chances.

But conditions in the region are almost certain to change, as much as they need to, to defeat ISIS.  All three of Bashar al-Assad, Tehran’s mullahs, and Russia have reason to intervene to beat back the ISIS insurgency.  (There’s a significant presence of Chechens and Dagestanis – bane of Moscow – in the ranks of ISIS.  For the security of her entire southern flank, Russia needs to see the ISIS effort crushed.)

About the Author: J.E. Dyer is a retired US Naval intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Guerrilla-Terrorists ISIS Seize Mosul, Iraq: Territorial Strategy”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Israel. Aug. 31, 2015.
Sen Cotton in Israel: ‘It Isn’t Over ‘Til the Votes are Counted’
Latest Indepth Stories

So it is critical that readers in the districts indicated come out to vote.

We urge readers to seek out upcoming rallies scheduled for times and places that work for them.

To be sure, the worst of what was directed at Mr. Nadler by some random hotheads with no real power or influence (calling him a “kapo,” for example) was over the top.

We can readily understand that it would be an embarrassment to the president were Congress to reject the deal he struck, even if that rejection would be vetoed and go nowhere.

As the First Zionist Congress was indisputably one of the seminal events in modern Jewish history, it is not surprising that it became the subject of some of the most beloved, beautiful, and rare Rosh Hashanah cards ever created.

Many in the media impart bias in place of truth; convey personal prejudice over objective facts.

Nahal Haredi is the ultimate solution, according to Branski, serving haredim from a wide variety of backgrounds – chassidish and yeshivish, Sephardi and Askenazi.

A recent study found that 54% of Jewish college students experienced/witnessed anti-Semitism in 2014

The purpose of an attack on Joseph’s Tomb is to murder Jews at prayer and destroy a Jewish holy site

A nuclear Khomenist Tehran will be a threat to Western democracies and to Jerusalem in particular

The MONSTERS of Nebi Saleh know well the damning, visceral impact of powerful, deceitful imagery.

Jewish Voice for Peace openly supports BDS movement against ALL of Israel & ending the Jewish State.

In recent years, there has been a big push to grow and develop American Football here in Israel.

Unlike Judaism & Christianity which honors “truth,” Islam pursues “Taqiyya,” strategic lying

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
Obama, the new Neville Chamberlain

Iran has not agreed to give up anything needed to acquire a bomb or cease any aggressive behavior

Terms of Surrender

Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”

Activists from US, France, Germany & from Iran’s media are aboard because the ship’s a cause célèbre

“…the Pope did the exact opposite of what the media reported: he urged Abbas to change his ways.”

The world’s more vulnerable to predation, eruption, and chaos than it has been in at least 600 years

Iran stands unopposed by the “international community” and is racing to assert regional dominance.

The S-300 poses a major problem; Israel will have to get creative as to if, when & where it strikes

In the last weeks of the talks the US excluded every other delegation from negotiations with Iran.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/guerrilla-terrorists-isis-seize-mosul-iraq-territorial-strategy/2014/06/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: