The battle for Mosul has started and will last months if Daesh puts up a fight. Some are trying to avert the bloodshed but not for the reasons you believe. The Saudis have been hard at work trying to broker a deal to move thousands of Daesh fighters out of Mosul and into to Syria to fight Assad.  This according to some has already been agreed upon  and that up to 9,000 Daesh terrorists have or will be given safe passage out.

The Saudis and the Qataris would like to see these terrorist live to fight another day and especially against Assad. This is another one of those times when you can say that not only does history repeats itself but stupidity too.  Short term thinking just like in Afghanistan in the 80’s  will lead to more terrorism and more attacks around the world.  In the 80’s the Saudis and the US government supplies arms and recruited tens of thousands of Jihadist to fight communism in Afghanistan. This idea was probably perceived as being brilliant and no one around the table raised their hand to ask what happens after?  Where will they go after? Will they turn against us? Well they did and Al-Qaeda was born and you know the rest of that story.

Now we have John Kerry and the Saudis trying their best to help a sworn enemy of both and loyal affiliate of Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra (refuse to use new brand name) to be saved from Russian and Syrian airstrikes. The excuse is that the remaining surviving moderate (BS) opposition are fighting, sleeping and eating with Al-Nusra and cannot be easily separated. After more than 6 months of trying to so called separate the moderates from the extremists it is clear that either this a ploy to shield and legitimize Al-Nusra or the US and Saudis have no real control over the rebels. You pick but either one is bad. Either way the Russian should just go ahead and bomb the hell of them.

Yes, yes in Aleppo we hear about atrocities, but the Russian’s are striking legitimate terrorists. No one refutes the facts that Al-Nusra is a terrorist group and that their fighters are in Aleppo. On the flip side no one talks of the daily shelling of government controlled areas or that 3x more people live in those areas versus rebel controlled. No one talks about maybe the people living in rebel Aleppo might actually be nothing more than hostages at this point.  If a bunch of terrorists are in a house, you bomb the house. Collateral damage will occur and no one denies that but let us be honest, we coined that term for a reason.  No one in the West questioned the heavy bombing of Lebanon by the IDF in 2006. Heavy civilian loses occurred and everyone blamed Hezbollah for firing rockets near or in civilian areas. Or how about the thousands of civilians killed in Yemen by bad intelligence provided by the CIA and the Pentagon and bombed by poorly trained Saudi pilots. No uproar there.

The US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France and the UK once again believe that they can control these groups and have them do their bidding in Syria (Weaken Iran/Hezbollah, remove Assad is just tool to that end). They believe that in the worse case scenario they can keep this war going and hope it never ends (which it will later rather than sooner)  because they know that when it will end the thousands of trained heavily armed professional Jihadists will go somewhere else. You can guess where.  This time a war in Chechnya, the Balkans, and in Algeria will not occupy them like it did in the 90’s.  That is the only reason we didn’t have a 911 in 90’s and only had a World Trade bombing and the embassy bombing in Dar El Salaam.

I hope that in Mosul no deal will be given and that all parties will actually work with each other after taking the city.  The Kurds, Sunni militias, Shia Militias, Turks, Americans and the Iraqi government all have different agendas and makes keeping the peace there very difficult at best and that is whole other story.

PS no general here but I would have taken all the towns on the Iraqi-Syrian border first cutting off supply, and  communication lines.  You can’t win a war if they can just cross back over the border (example: Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, Colombia, Kashmir).