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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Al-Baghdadi playing 'Hide-and-Seek" in Mosul

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (aka "The Fightin' Scumcrumpets") is likely holed up in Mosul, the hub of the Islamic extremist movement. Iraqi and U.S. forces are closing in on him and his ilk and there's going to be a fight.

Hoshiyar Zebari a senior Kurdish official said he has "solid" intel that al-Baghdadi was somewhere in the city of over a million civilians and about 6,000 jihadists, and it is believed that he is hanging out with Fawzi Ali Nouimeh, the group's bomb maker.

Mosul fell to ISIS back in the summer of 2014 and a few weeks later, al-Baghdadi declared from the pulpit of a mosque, that the city is a caliphate. 

According to Zebari, ISIS was "disoriented" and don't know where to expect the attacks to come from. If Mosul can be liberated, that would be a huge loss for the religious group that now controls less than half the territory it once held.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi pledged that the battle for Mosul will lead to the liberation of all Iraqi territory from ISIS if the Iraqi forces don't run off and leave their weapons behind.

Iraqi Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati (aka "Shag") called on Iraqis fighting for ISIS in Mosul to give it up. 

The fight is now into its third day.

The Fightin' Scumcrumpets have been putting up fierce resistance, knowing that if they punk out, al-Baghdadi will have them burned alive. The jihadists loaded trucks with explosives careening them to the front lines and firing mortars to slow the Iraqi advance.

One Iraqi officer told the AP that his men were only about a mile away from Hamdaniyah, a historically Christian town (aka Bakhdida) to the east of Mosul. 

Thus far, ISIS sent 12 car bombs that never reached their targets--they were blown up--but Iraqi troops have suffered a few casualties from mortar rounds. 

The Mosul operation is the largest launched by the Iraqi army since 2003 U.S.-led invasion. There are about 25,000 troops which include Sunni tribal fighters, Kurdish forces known as peshmerga, and state-sanctioned Shi'ite militias known as the Popular Mobilization Units, and they are all approaching Mosul from different directions.

One of the fears of rights groups is that the Shi'ite militias could increase sectarian tensions as there have been past abuses. To assuage these fears, Shi'ite militia leaders announced that they will only focus on capturing the majority Shi'ite town of Tal Afar, not far from Mosul. 

The Shi'ites will not enter the city itself because the Shi'ite Muslims don't get along with Sunni Muslims and neither the Sunni nor the Shi'ites get along with other types of Muslims such as: Sufis, Baha'is, Ahmadiyyas. As far as how they get along with Jews, Christians, Kurds, Hindus, atheists and gays, don't even ask. 

"The only troops who will enter Mosul are the army and police, not the Popular Mobilization Units or the peshmerga," said Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Brigade, one of the largest Shi'ite militias, and whose slogan is: "We're Badr than you."

"This has been agreed upon," al-Amiri said at a press conference in the Shi'ite holy city (aka "Holy Shi'ite).

Amnesty International reported on Tuesday that Iraqi government and paramilitary forces detained, tortured or killed hundreds of Sunni Arab civilians trying to flee ISIS-held areas during the retake of Fallujah, earlier this year.

Of course, the Iraqi government denied these violations and claimed that those few individuals who may have committed abuse have been held accountable.

Anyway, if al-Baghdadi can be captured or killed, this will be a great defeat for ISIS and a great victory for us.