‘The result is inevitable’ Battle for Mosul will lead to CRUSHING ISIS defeat, experts say

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Colonel Peter Mansoor, who worked for the CIA, claimed the offensive to retake Iraq”s second city from the clutches of the death cult would succeed with the help of US-backed military forces.

But the ex-CIA officer warned the battle would not be straightforward.

The former executive officer to General David Petraeus, who helped organise the Iraq war, said: “The result is inevitable. The Iraqi forces with the help of US air support will end up crushing ISIS but it will be a hard fight for that to happen.

“The enemy has had more than two years to dig into the urban landscape. He”s lighting on fire pools of oil to darken the skies and make it harder to target him.

“He”s rigged houses to explode and has littered the roads with roadside bombs and so at every step of the way the Iraqi and Kurdish forces are going to meet stiff resistant from the enemy who has had a long, long time to prepare the battlefield.”

The US general told Newsnight that bloodshed and civilian causalities were an unfortunate part of war and that ISIS militants want Mosul civilians to perish so they can use it as part of their sickening propaganda.

Mansoor said: “They [US-coalition] have left open an avenue of escape for civilians and its doubtful that ISIS will let the civilians flee.

“ISIS wants a humanitarian catastrophe to use it as propaganda so this is going to be tough on the people of Mosul. But if you want to end the war on ISIL, you need to take the city.”

The population of Mosul before ISIS took control of the city in 2014 was 1.5million but it is unknown how many people remain in the city today.

Renad Mansour, of the international affairs think tank Chatham House, concluded it will take “months” to liberate the northern Iraqi city.

Mansour said: “We are talking months. We are not even in the city yet.

“Sometimes it”s a matter of inches. A block could take days to take over because inside the city they are conscious of the fact that its not only a military victory but they need to make sure the civilian population are OK with what happens.”