Everyone in America, and around the world, who loves freedom should be paying very close attention to Iraq this Monday morning. In the city of Mosul a war has begun to help free a major city on earth from tyranny.

mosul

MOSUL, IRAQ

For the past two years over 1.5 million people, the size of Philadelphia, have been held hostage after Islamic State fighters took control of Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities. There are internal reasons for why it happened — mainly Sunni Arab soldiers abandoned their posts after growing disenchanted with the Shiite-led Iraqi government — but it has been hell on earth for Mosul’s residents who cannot leave the city.

The battle pits Iraqi and Kurdish forces, trained by the U.S. military, against the largest terrorist organization on the planet. For two years, freedom forces have trained 45,000 soldiers to prepare to take on the estimated 4,500 ISIS fighters, who are very well equipped with military equipment seized when they captured the city.

mosul-map

Mosul is about 250 miles north of Baghdad.

Despite the overwhelming superiority in numbers, there is grave concern that the ISIS fighters will retreat to certain sections of the city and begin a final murderous rampage. They have moved their operations to buildings like hospitals, schools and mosques that coalition aircraft are not allowed to strike.

mosul-isThey have also built built berms and trenches along the major roadways, and placed booby-trapped bombs along roads, bridges and inside buildings. In addition, giant pits of tire and oil have been readied to create giant dark clouds that would make it difficult for coalition aircraft to conduct airstrikes in the city.

The first stage of the operation, which is happening now, is to encircle Mosul from the north, east and south. The west will be left open deliberately, allowing Islamic State fighters a route of escape. If they do, drones will pick off ISIS fighters as they flee.

Fighting terrorists in a huge city will not be easy. The risk of civilian casualties is very high, and Mosul’s streets are likely rigged with explosives. There is also concern about the use of chemical weapons, which ISIS is believed to possess.

Over 800,000 people could attempt to flee during the fight which could last to the end of the year. The UN has set up 20 camps to take care of them.

When Mosul is liberated, 6,000 Iraqi police are ready to establish order. And the largest terrorist organization on earth will be severely weakened.

Here are some early reports from journalists on the front line of war:

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