OPINION: In Mosul, ISIS and others, have fallen

Iraqi forces deploy in the Bajwaniyah village, about 30 kms south of Mosul, on October 18, 2016 after they liberated it from ISIS militants. (AFP)

The fall of Mosul into the hands of ISIS two years ago came as a shock. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki relinquished power even though the world thought it was impossible to make him step aside despite the end of his term. With the fall of Mosul, many such allegations fell apart as well.

Maliki seemed obsessed with the idea of absolute authority. He thought that by harming Sunni opposition powers in parliament, getting them out of the government, sending forces to Anbar to discipline them and burning their tents will eliminate terrorism as well as the opposition. At least that is how he sold the story to the Iraqi people.

The fall of Mosul proved that Maliki created a tool to serve his own interests until he emptied the state of its constitutional, popular and moral content. The fall dragged Maliki to the abyss and it was a horrific fall after it turned out that he knew about the threats but did nothing. He even reportedly assigned incompetent men close to him to lead the army and allowed corruption to spread to the point where it reached security and military institutions.

The fall of Mosul also exposed the lie of the Sunni opposition in governorates like Anbar. They claimed that those who “liberated” Anbar were a group of national opposition parties consisting of Baathists, tribal councils and Naqshbandi members. However, we soon found out that it was ISIS with its black flags and criminal practices which took over Mosul.

Mosul’s fall two years ago proved that it is impossible for the sectarian regime in Iraq to succeed as a political regime as it is incapable of keeping the state’s entity secure

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Armed opposition

Meanwhile, Arab voices enthusiastic about the armed Iraqi opposition and governments which were deceived by the latter are not being raised anymore. Yes, there are angry Baathists, opposition tribal councils and opposition Naqshbandi forces but as long as the regime intentionally marginalizes them, they will continue to be a thorn in its side.

However, they were not the ones who took over Ramadi and later Mosul. It was the terrorist organization ISIS which started eliminating them as well as many Naqshbandi members. They were killed despite the plea of Izzat al-Douri, their leader and former deputy to late president Saddam Hussein, which was heard in the audio broadcast by Mosul’s new rulers. Despite Douri’s pleas, ISIS executed a number of Naqshbandi members.

Soleimani ‘heroism’

One of the lies that spread following ISIS’s takeover of Mosul were the fake acts of heroism promoted by Iran. Qassem Soleimani was demonstrated as Iran’s invincible leader who is tasked with managing wars outside Iran, surrounded by his forces as he vowed to liberate Mosul “soon.” It has been two years since then and we haven’t seen anyone enter the city until now.

Iran’s forces and militias are fighting tirelessly. However, this is not a military miracle as the regime promotes it. If it hadn’t been for logistical and intelligence support from the Americans and their allies, they will not be able to seize Mosul unless with massive losses, like it was revealed in their battles in Syria where they only managed to break the siege of two towns after repeated efforts and after suffering great losses.

They succeeded at destroying Syrian cities with the help of Russian air force but they did not seize them. Mosul proved that General Soleimani is a mere media legend and exposed the myth of Iranian victories and the country being “the protector of Iraq and Syria”.

Today, the operation to liberate Mosul is being carried out by an international force. Iraqi troops lead the operation aided by the US-led coalition forces and regional powers like Turkey. Mosul’s fall two years ago proved that it is impossible for the sectarian regime in Iraq to succeed as a political regime as it is incapable of keeping the state’s entity secure.

The sectarian parties’ attempts to invest in the anticipated victory in Mosul is nothing but their way to convince their followers that they represent this victory while overlooking the fact that they are the reason behind the tragedy which will repeat as long as they continue to exploit people’s emotions and tragedies.

This article was first published Asharq al-Awsat on Oct. 19, 2016.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47