October Surprise – in Iraq
Off-topic, since I haven’t been writing on topic.
But there is an “October Surprise” coming. Not only that, it’s not a surprise.
ISIS has been losing ground in Syria. Since June they lost the entire Turkish border, hundreds of miles, mostly to a coalition militia (SDF) dominated by Kurds (but with other ethnicities, including Arabs). The rest of the border they’ve lost to the Syrian opposition (FSA), with direct backing by Turkey. That offensive continues, winning a town or village at a time, heading towards a large town, Al Bab. The SDF now holds Manbij (pop 100,000). The next obvious move in Syria would be towards Ar Raqqah, with a quarter of a million people and ISIS’s organizational leadership.
But none of that makes an October surprise. For the surprise, we need to look to Iraq. Over the last two years the Kurdish forces (Peshmerga) and the Iraqi Army have an impressive list of victories. One at a time. With gaps in between. Of months. The Iraqi Army has taken Tikrit, Hit, Fallujah, Ramadi. The Peshmerga have taken areas around Mosul. They took Sinjar. They have linked up with the Kurds in Syria, creating a continuous front.
All of this was spread out, over the last two years. Progress has not been regular front page stuff. But it’s about to be.
There is a massive offensive planned, could start any day, against Mosul. Mosul is a huge city. It used to have 2 1/2 million people. It’s an “oil capital.”
It’s not a secret, here’s a few 1, 2, 3, 4, descriptions of what’s coming up. And week by week the different armies and militias report moving men and materièle into position. Pre-offensive bombing has been ramped up. And political leaders say soon, or sooner. And ISIS is preparing defenses, and bracing for it.
And that’s it. Two weeks, or ten days, or five days before the US election, a massive offensive against ISIS will begin. Front-page, evening news stuff. Fighting will be raging as Americans go to the polls. The photos and video on tv will be of ISIS soldiers dying on one side, and “our allies,” but not Americans, on the other. The pictures of Americans will be limited to Obama, Generals, Diplomats, members of the State Department, and pilots, returning, giving thumbs up.
Donald Trump, already pretty much dead in the water, will watch as ISIS takes a beating on a huge, front-page stage. Even without him contributing stupid tweets (and he probably will) that counts as an October surprise.