21/11/2016. Operation Mosul: The Fear of a New Humanitarian Crisis
By Konstantinos Efthymiou
1. The Operation
The campaign for the recapture of Mosul, in Iraq was launched on the early morning of the 10th October while airstrikes and heavy artillery fire gave the signal for the first clashes to occur. Based on Turkish as well as Iraqi field sources, more than 30,000 troops from 36 countries have already joined this venture – as members of the international coalition against the IS (Islamic State) and the rebel militant groups affiliated to the jihadist group. More specifically, almost whole the Iraqi army, the Kurdish Peshmerga militant group – military forces of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, estimated to be more than 200,000 troops – the Shiite militia and the so-called “Order of Nineveh Christians” have already made their appearance on the region. Furthermore, there are approximately 2,000 Sunni fighters involved in the venture. They have been trained by the Turkish military in the Bashiqa camp in Northern Iraq, Bashiqa was an Assyrian town before its capture by the jihadists. Western states’ participation has been noteworthy, with more than 700 members of the US Special Forces, British and French army already included in the operational projection.