The battle in Mosul is expected to become the largest battle fought in Iraq since the US-led operation in 2003. According to the Iraqi army, approximately 50 villages have been taken from the ISIS since last Monday, as the army prepares for the onslaught on Mosul, where 5,000 to 6,000 ISIS fighters are believed to remain.
The international coalition battling to eradicate ISIS in Mosul is a disparate assembly, lacking true cohesion as each has its own reasons for fighting in this offensive.
“It’s a very, very dangerous cocktail,” Marina Ottaway, a Middle East expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said. “This is a group with completely different end-goals. There is a real fear that when they get rid of ISIS from Mosul then things are really going to blow up.”
The Key Players and Their Motivations: