Friday, December 15, 2017

"U.S. Army Study Finds Flaws With Military’s Pivotal Assault on Mosul"

WSJ:

When the battle began in October 2016, the mission that confronted American forces and their Iraqi partners was a difficult one. The city was defended by 3,000 to 5,000 well-armed Islamic State fighters who had more than two years to prepare elaborate defenses and was populated by hundreds of thousands of civilians.

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The study is sharply critical of the use of leaflets to communicate with Mosul’s civilians. Many of the leaflets weren’t tailored for the tribes and communities that might received them. Other leaflets failed to reach their target audience because the Iraqi military wasn’t properly instructed on where to drop them. When they did reach their mark, the consequences were sometimes disastrous.

“When leaflet drops were successfully deployed into an area, the risk to people was high,” the study stated. “If an attempt was made by a civilian in Mosul to pick up a leaflet in the street, it could be answered with a bullet from an [Islamic State] sniper.”