Iraqi government forces, US-led coalition air forces, Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and Turkish troops are engaged in a major battle against ISIL in Mosul. The offensives against ISIL have the potential to result in a major conflagration between several of the forces involved in the operations while ISIL fighters are allowed to flee to Deir Ez-Zor, Syria, without being attacked by the US-led coalition.
by Christof Lehmann, nsnbc:
There have been reports about mass desertations of ISIL fighters who reportedly “shaved off their beards and got rid of their Afghan uniform”. A local source told nsnbc that a large contingent of ISIL fighters in plain clothes and their families are fleeing toward Deir Ez-Zor in Syria where ISIL has a stronghold.
It was, in fact, the accidental one-hour-long bombing of Syrian troops in Deir Ez-Zor by US-led coalition forces that killed about 90 Syrian soldiers and enabled ISIL to briefly recapture a key position near Deir Ez-Zor Airport. It was this “accident” that, among others, led to the collapse of US – Russian talks on Syria.
The leader of the predominantly Christian Al-Hashd al-Shaabi militia a.k.a. the Babylon Brigades, stressed on Monday that the US-led international coalition air forces did not target ISIS convoys as they fled from Mosul towards Syria.
Ryan al-Kildani the group’s Secretary-General, stressed his astonishment about the fact that the US-led coalition air forces let ISIL fighters slip away to Syria.
“ISIS is currently suffering from confusion in Mosul,” Kildani explained. He added that “Iraqi security forces received intelligence from residents of Mosul about the locations of ISIS militants”.