Raging battle for Mosul

Iraq generally has a tendency to be in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. The recent case is a bit different from routine matters. Iraq’s Army has begun a military operation to get rid of the terror group, the Islamic State, from the northern city of Mosul. This is not the first time that such an offensive has been undertaken by the newly reformed Iraq’s Army. It was not so long ago in 2014 that Iraq’s sovereignty was challenged by the Islamic State, that began to rule its northern Province. The military operation is being conducted by the United States-led coalition forces The US has made it incontrovertible that the offensive would lead to ‘a lasting defeat’ for the Islamic State in the region.
The US withdrew its forces from the region in 2011 and has merely played the role of a collaborator with Iraq’s Army. In some ways, it may not be far-fetched to blame the rise of Islamist groups such as the Islamic State on the lackadaisical policies of the United States in the region. It is one thing to invade a country to topple a dictator and quite another to become involved in regime change after completely dismantling the Iraqi state. The latter has led to a situation where most, if not all, facets of Iraq’s civil society lie in disarray and is administratively unbending. Thus, the mistakes of the US administration is not far to see; abolition of the state apparatus has proved costlier than it ought to have been in the first place.
The United States and its allies have a responsibility to ensure a terror-free region for Iraq’s citizens. The West cannot be a mute spectator to the political havoc it has contributed to in the first place. The Iraq adventure, if it can be called so, has led to loss of countless lives, in Iraq and the US and the allied nations, and civilians and military personnel. The West, especially the United States, has a tradition of treating the military and its men and women in high regard — a tradition worthy for the rest of the democratic world to emulate. Therefore, it is on the United States to lend the same respectability to Iraq’s new Army. Perhaps the Mosul offensive would be a strategic step in that direction.
The Mosul campaign is considered to be one of the most elaborate military offensives since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition. Prior to the launch of the offensive, Iraq’s Army dropped leaflets across the city to warn its citizens of the impending danger. This is a step that ought to limit collateral damage when it comes to safeguarding citizens’ lives and interests.
It is a concern that has also been stressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and various other leaders across the country.
However, the desire to protect the lives of citizens should not become an excuse for the United States to recklessly pursue an aggression that can backfire in the near future. Both the US and the international community have a stake in a democratic, peaceful and prosperous Iraq. This country has suffered enough
and for long.

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