By: Senussi Bsaikri*
Comparisons between what is happening in Mosul and Sirte raise
justifiable questions about the nature of the fight in both countries, parties to the conflict, preparations, results, and military equivalence while noting that Mosul fight is at the very beginnings.
Six thousand Daesh fighters are fortifying inside Mosul, seized by five armies, Iraqi army, Peshmerga, Turkish brigades, Popular Mobilization Forces, and the Sunni mobilization forces, besides international forces. The attackers are about 100 thousand soldiers supported by the international alliance airstrikes and directed missiles.
In Sirte, initial estimates by foreign intelligence and western think tanks referred to five thousand Daesh fighters. Then the same sources and others lowered their estimations to between 1-2 thousand combatants; some mentioned three thousand. So, this means that Daesh statistical power in Sirte is one-third or about half of that in Mosul.
At the opposite side, comparisons appear entirely different given forces that attacked the group and seized it in one km square area in just ten weeks.
The total number of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous forces, which nearly ended Daesh in Sirte is about six thousand fighters only, with traditional old equipment, either vehicle, armors, or even planes that launched 200 airstrikes, before US forces joined the battle which came very late and for political reasons not technical or logistical.
The dramatic difference between offensive forces in Mosul and Sirte shows that vast armies and advanced equipment don’t necessarily define the battle conditions or achieve the victory. Otherwise, success made by Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous forces, mostly formed by non-professional civilians and officers, shall undermine the significance of such massive mobilizations.
Of course, good factor plays a significant role in achieving a decisive victory, Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous forces advanced inside Sirte with a clear motive, ending Daesh existence that threats the country and became a knife pointed at Misrata, which participated with 80-90% of fighters.
The diversified configuration of forces attacking Mosul reflects a very complicated map with connections to ideological and political goals, which contradict with the nationally announced objectives of ending the group for being the primary driving factor for chaos in the country.
There is a complex composition in Iraq. It includes the efforts to secure the nascent Kurdish State from Peshmerga and to expand it into the Iraqi geopolitical map, expanding the Shia influence following the threat posed by the group for Shia in Iraq, the vengeance motives fueled by sectarianism, the national security and leading Turkish regional role in fighting the frightening Iranian regional role, promoting the Middle Eastern influence, and the international one in the wake of the global conflict waging in the area.
Such complicated composition might be one reason for the delay and stumbling victory. It might create security and political reality hard to address or contain after the war ends in Mosul, while, in Sirte, the picture is more clear and obvious that a victory will stabilize the whole region and promote stability across the country if properly used by the Presidential Council (PC).
Here we should address the enormous difference between western presence in Mosul, which is a decisive factor not just concerning statistical estimates but also the most needed logistic support, while the United States joined the fight in Sirte with a soft support. The reason, in my opinion, is to participate in ending the third Daesh stronghold, so no one would ever say that the group was eliminated only by moderate local efforts, to use that privilege in the stage after the operations end.
*A Libyan Writer
Translated By LIBYAPROSPECT: Source