Introduction — Nov 18, 2016
Former Prime Minister David Cameron had prohibited British Special Forces from targeting Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) terrorists. Now under Prime Minister Theresa May they and their U.S. counterparts have been given the go-ahead to eliminate the militants.
So why the change?
Because with Russian help the tide of war has turned against the militants. Backed by Russian air power Syrian and Iraqi forces are now closing in on the militants last major strongholds.
As a result Britain and the U.S. have reportedly drawn up “kill lists” of militant leaders targeted for assassination. This includes many militant commanders who had previously enjoyed the covert backing of the West and its allies in the gulf. As Finian Cunningham recently revealed however, they’ve been targeted specifically to prevent them revealing too much about the covert support the West provided them with
That’s why SAS troops will finally join the Battle for Mosul; to silence hundreds of militants earmarked for execution. In some cases those militants had previously been alerted by Western intelligence on likely Russian air strikes; in effect they had been protected. Now though Britain and America need to prevent that information from going public. So they have now joined in the assaults on militant strongholds to silence those whose testimony could be damaging. Ed.
SAS troops join Battle for Mosul in bid to liberate city from ISIS fighters
Chris Hughes — Daily Mirror Nov 18, 2016
Crack British special forces troops have entered the bloody battle to liberate Mosul from Islamic State fighters.
The SAS troopers are embedded with Iraqi special forces who are struggling to dislodge ISIS fanatics from their stronghold.
Until now the elite British soldiers – and American special forces – have provided backup to Iraqi and Peshmergae troops, supporting from rear positions.
But they were drafted in to boost the ongoing attack against Islamic State who are slowly being beaten back and killed.
Close to 1,000 ISIS fighters have been slaughtered in the bloody four week battle to drive the terror network out of their Iraqi HQ.
But the result has come at a terrible price with scores of casualties among Iraqi and Peshmerga soldiers and many civilians killed in crossfire.
Bad weather and densely populated areas have slowed down the progress in the fighting along with poor weather blocking aerial surveillance.
Islamis State are putting up ferocioous resistance with waves of suicide bombers and diehard foreign terrorists who are fighting to the death.
As the battle kicked off some weeks ago the Daily Mirror witnessed American special forces blasting away at ISIS fighters from a hilltop, in support of Peshmerage attacking the network.
But sources say the SAS have now joined the fighting on the ground – although they are in small numbers.
Hundreds of residents carrying backpacks, shopping bags and even pots and pans have fled their homes in the past few days as the fighting raged.
The offensive to take the largest city under Islamic State control in Iraq or Syria is turning into the biggest battle in Iraq’s turbulent history since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The advance entered a second month on Thursday and the heavy presence of civilians in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, has forced the government to slow its campaign which has encircled the city.
The mixing of Islamic State fighters with residents is slowing – but not stopping – the military’s drive to defeat a ruthless enemy while protecting civilians.
And Iraqi soldiers are noticing the local population is now turning on ISIS.
Iraqi Captain Hussam al-Aboudi, a commander, said: “We have sources, we have the names of Daesh fighters, we know them.
“Residents also give us information – like they say, ‘ Daesh posted a sniper on top of my house.’”
The Iraqis rely on informants inside the city – both in Islamic State-held areas and those recaptured from the militants – for intelligence on everything from the location of foot soldiers to the habits of commanders.
Zahra resident Alaa Youssef, 47, said civilians in Mosul had an obligation to inform the military about Islamic State fighters who had hidden inside houses.
He said: “It is the civilians last chance to have a role, not just in Tahrir but in all of Mosul.
“If they do not cooperate and work together, we will go back to the same situation.”