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The difference between Aleppo and Mosul?

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  • 17-10-2016 1:21pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 12,363 ✭✭✭✭


    Please, can anybody explain the difference between what the Russians and their allies are doing in Aleppo and what the Iraqis and their allies are doing in Mosul?

    Apart that is from both being futile exercises in trying to dislodge heavily armed enemy forces that have been dug in for months in urban surroundings. Why are the media running with the Mosul nonsense today as if it was the liberation of Europe in 1944?

    The stench of hypocrisy from both Russia and America is overwhelming. This is not some stupid computer game and lots of real people are being killed and they don't re-spawn. :mad:


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,309 ✭✭✭✭alastair


    The primary difference is in who's holding either city. ISIS, who's activities and ideology it's kinda hard to find any sort of defence for, hold Mosul, while Aleppo is not a stronghold of ISIS, but rather a diverse collection of anti-Assad rebels, which certainly includes Jabhat Fath al-Sham, but also other less jihadist groupings. Now, while you might argue that the government in Baghdad has it's failings and problems, it's not anywhere near the scale of the Assad regime's. While military attacks on either city are obviously going to result in civilian casualties, there's still a clear distinction in the morality of attempting to take either city.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,363 ✭✭✭✭Del.Monte


    Can't agree. Both big powers are just playing wargames and should fold their tents and go home.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    When civilians get killed by Russian air strikes in Alleppo its " Russian war crimes".
    When they get killed by Coalition air strikes in Mosul, it'll be because they are "being used as human shields".
    In Raqqa, it just goes unreported.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    alastair wrote: »
    While military attacks on either city are obviously going to result in civilian casualties, there's still a clear distinction in the morality of attempting to take either city.
    It seems that Sunni Islamic fundamentalists dominate both Aleppo and Mosul.
    They don't particularly wish to come under Assad's control, but neither do they wish to be ruled by a sectarian Shia govt. in Baghdad. This is the reason that IS and Al Sham have been able to walk into these cities so easily and assume control.
    When the combined forces of Kurds and Iraqi Shias take Mosul, they will be regarded by most of the residents there as an army of occupation. The few who didn't feel that way, moved out or were killed 2 years ago.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    recedite wrote: »
    In Raqqa, it just goes unreported.

    Who is there to report it?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    It shouldn't matter whether there is anyone there to report it, or who is doing the bombing.
    Either a bombing campaign in a residential area is a war crime, or it is not.

    Personally I'm inclined to think that if the civilians have been warned that the bombs are coming, and have a relatively safe corridor out, then its as acceptable as any aspect of war. This was actually done in both Aleppo and Mosul. At least as far as was practicable, considering some reports of city defenders killing people who were trying to leave.

    Compare to say, Hiroshima or Dresden, where non-combatants were given no chance to escape.


  • Registered Users Posts: 403 ✭✭brickmauser


    Del.Monte wrote: »
    Please, can anybody explain the difference between what the Russians and their allies are doing in Aleppo and what the Iraqis and their allies are doing in Mosul?

    Apart that is from both being futile exercises in trying to dislodge heavily armed enemy forces that have been dug in for months in urban surroundings. Why are the media running with the Mosul nonsense today as if it was the liberation of Europe in 1944?

    The stench of hypocrisy from both Russia and America is overwhelming. This is not some stupid computer game and lots of real people are being killed and they don't re-spawn. :mad:

    Dislodging dug in forces is not futile.

    It happens in every war.

    A whole swathe of Iraq and Syria is under Islamist rule.

    Enough is enough.

    They have to be crushed and scattered and wiped out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    recedite wrote: »
    It shouldn't matter whether there is anyone there to report it

    So, you are critical that civilian deaths go unreported in Raqqa.... but it doesn't matter that there is no one there to report it.

    Okey-dokey.


  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭Tim76


    recedite wrote: »
    Compare to say, Hiroshima or Dresden, where non-combatants were given no chance to escape.

    Seems like it's only war crimes when the other side are committing them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    So, you are critical that civilian deaths go unreported in Raqqa.... but it doesn't matter that there is no one there to report it.

    Okey-dokey.
    I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't being critical of the "western" media or the reporters for not going to, and reporting from, Raqqa. I was being critical of them focussing on Aleppo as if it was a city where only civilians were being bombed, while treating Mosul and Raqqa as cities where only IS fighters are being bombed.
    The reality is that all these cities contain a mix of combatants, non-combatant family and/or supporters of the combatants, and people who just happened to be living there.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    recedite wrote: »
    them focussing on Aleppo as if it was a city where only civilians were being bombed, while treating Mosul and Raqqa as cities where only IS fighters are being bombed.

    Example?


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,363 ✭✭✭✭Del.Monte


    Dislodging dug in forces is not futile.

    It happens in every war.

    A whole swathe of Iraq and Syria is under Islamist rule.

    Enough is enough.

    They have to be crushed and scattered and wiped out.

    Dislodging heavily dug-in forces is extremely slow as well as being costly in terms of lives and property. The fact that a 'whole swathe of Iraq and Syria is under Islamist rule' is neither here nor there - what will you replace it with? It's all nonsense and the West (and Russia) should keep out of it unless the situation looks like becomes a threat to World peace like North Korea. The Americans, Chinese and Russians would be better off coming up with a plan for regime change in North Korea rather than mucking about in the Middle East.

    Incidentally, given how strongly you feel about wiping Islamists out what will you be doing about it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    Mosul is being treated like a big deal because the loss of Mosul would be the death knell of ISIS. It has a clear delineation between the good guys and the bad invader-guys.

    Aleppo is (for the most part) more akin to a civil war with no real heroes on any front, just a lot of complete bastards all fighting over the same city and killing civilians.

    The former is a far easier sell for any media outlet.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,061 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    So far air strikes on Mosul aren't deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure or stopping with phosphorus. I think that's a start.

    Mosul is being closed in on slowly, allowing civilians to flee and will be retaken by the Iraq army and Sunni militias to avoid any blood letting by Shia fighters. Again, avoiding civilian casualties.

    It's pretty clear that ISIS are the bad guys. There are no clear bad guys in the conflict around Aleppo. It's a giant cluster f*ck.

    Both are horrible situations I wish weren't happening. But there is a certain moral justification for retaking Mosul from ISIS.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Mosul hasnt really started yet but yes, there is a whiff of propaganda about it. For example, today we have been told that the allies liberated 7 to 10 villages.. but in the small print we learn also that many of these villages havent been occupied for years and some are only composed of four of five houses.. Mosul could turn into an Aleppo, but its hasn't yet. It all depends how the fighting develops.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,450 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    ISIS and the jihadist seem to have had their day, there was a small item on the BBC news one evening about Europeans who had gone to fight for ISIS and now are trying to get back to europe having realised its largely a con. It will all peter out to small Marxist Islamic group and a small few jihadist. Russia and the US will sabre rattle in public while doing deals behind the scenes.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,061 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    mariaalice wrote: »
    ISIS and the jihadist seem to have had their day, there was a small item on the BBC news one evening about Europeans who had gone to fight for ISIS and now are trying to get back to europe having realised its largely a con. It will all peter out to small Marxist Islamic group and a small few jihadist. Russia and the US will sabre rattle in public while doing deals behind the scenes.

    Marxist Islamic group? Where are you getting that from? Just a handy chance to have a pop at Marxists?

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Registered Users Posts: 12,450 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    Brian? wrote: »
    Marxist Islamic group? Where are you getting that from? Just a handy chance to have a pop at Marxists?
    http://isj.org.uk/isis-and-counter-revolution-towards-a-marxist-analysis/

    I would have though it was a well know analysis of some of the terror groups in the middle east and Africa.


  • Registered Users Posts: 403 ✭✭brickmauser


    Del.Monte wrote: »
    Dislodging heavily dug-in forces is extremely slow as well as being costly in terms of lives and property. The fact that a 'whole swathe of Iraq and Syria is under Islamist rule' is neither here nor there - what will you replace it with? It's all nonsense and the West (and Russia) should keep out of it unless the situation looks like becomes a threat to World peace like North Korea. The Americans, Chinese and Russians would be better off coming up with a plan for regime change in North Korea rather than mucking about in the Middle East.

    Incidentally, given how strongly you feel about wiping Islamists out what will you be doing about it?

    Against overwhelming air power ground artillery and tanks and infantry a dug in enemy can only hold out so long especially when they are surrounded and cut off.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,061 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    mariaalice wrote: »
    http://isj.org.uk/isis-and-counter-revolution-towards-a-marxist-analysis/

    I would have though it was a well know analysis of some of the terror groups in the middle east and Africa.

    It's far from well known. ISIS, the terror group we're discussing, are not a Marxist organisation.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,450 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    Brian? wrote: »
    It's far from well known. ISIS, the terror group we're discussing, are not a Marxist organisation.

    But they don't exist in isolation in Syria or the middle east in general, that would be like saying discuss the IRA but make no reference to any other terrorist or political organisation around them.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,061 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    mariaalice wrote: »
    But they don't exist in isolation in Syria or the middle east in general, that would be like saying discuss the IRA but make no reference to any other terrorist or political organisation around them.

    I think I've missed your point here.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    seamus wrote: »
    Mosul is being treated like a big deal because the loss of Mosul would be the death knell of ISIS. It has a clear delineation between the good guys and the bad invader-guys.
    If only it was that simple :)
    Three points;
    It would only be the end of IS in the Iraqi part of the Levant. Their capital is in the Syrian part, in Raqqa.

    The residents of Mosul are mostly Sunni muslims. The invading coalition are Shia and Kurdish ground forces, backed up by western air support. None of these will be welcomed by the residents.

    Then you have the added complication of the Turks wanting to join in the fight so that an extremist Sunni regime in Mosul can be replaced with a less extreme Sunni regime. And then the Iranian backed Shia-Iraqi ground forces being very much against that idea.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,363 ✭✭✭KingBrian2


    It has degenerated into a Shia Sunni divide over there. Most Iraqi's are Shia but those cities are Sunni predominantly both Mosul and Aleppo in Syria so they are sticking to the Sunni Wahhabi ISIS. That is why their is such a concern over a bloodbath. The Shia hate the Sunni as much as the west. The tolerant form of Islam hasn't reached those desert regions. Everyone is an infidel in their minds so the battles are going to be long fought out affairs.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,061 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    recedite wrote: »
    If only it was that simple :)
    Three points;
    It would only be the end of IS in the Iraqi part of the Levant. Their capital is in the Syrian part, in Raqqa.

    The residents of Mosul are mostly Sunni muslims. The invading coalition are Shia and Kurdish ground forces, backed up by western air support. None of these will be welcomed by the residents.

    Actually, the invasion will be carried out by the Iraqi army and Sunni militias. The Kurds and Shia militias are operating as blocking forces to the north and west of Mosul. They've been ordered to hold and wait.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Registered Users Posts: 19,309 ✭✭✭✭alastair


    KingBrian2 wrote: »
    It has degenerated into a Shia Sunni divide over there. Most Iraqi's are Shia but those cities are Sunni predominantly both Mosul and Aleppo in Syria so they are sticking to the Sunni Wahhabi ISIS. That is why their is such a concern over a bloodbath. The Shia hate the Sunni as much as the west. The tolerant form of Islam hasn't reached those desert regions. Everyone is an infidel in their minds so the battles are going to be long fought out affairs.

    Nonsense. There's no ISIS power base in Aleppo, and the majority of Syrians (not just the residents of Aleppo) are Sunnis. The Shiite minority in Syria really play a minor role in the core sectarian divide in Syria, which is a Sunni Alawite one. You really can't ascribe the sectarian issues that pertain to Iraq, to Syria.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Brian? wrote: »
    Actually, the invasion will be carried out by the Iraqi army and Sunni militias. The Kurds and Shia militias are operating as blocking forces to the north and west of Mosul. They've been ordered to hold and wait.
    From what I've heard the "shia militias" have been asked not to enter the city, but to "clear" outlying villages instead. As these guys appear to be psychopathic volunteers from as far away as Iran, this sounds fairly horrific. A bit like the way the SS units "cleared" hostile villages in Russia during WW2, or the Black and Tans "cleared" them in West Cork.

    Then you have the "regular" Iraqi army, who are also Shia, but a bit more controllable. But still prone to sudden uncontrolled flight back to Baghdad whenever they find themselves in a Sunni area, which is quite understandable.
    The Kurds are definitely the most trustworthy and reliable.

    As for the Sunni militias you speak of, I doubt the existence of a militia that is willing to take up arms against its own people. But I have no doubt that the American special forces on the ground are trying to recruit a temporary militia force which can be labelled "Sunni Moderates" and they will pushed to the forefront for the cameras when the city is "liberated".


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,061 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    recedite wrote: »
    From what I've heard the "shia militias" have been asked not to enter the city, but to "clear" outlying villages instead. As these guys appear to be psychopathic volunteers from as far away as Iran, this sounds fairly horrific. A bit like the way the SS units "cleared" hostile villages in Russia during WW2, or the Black and Tans "cleared" them in West Cork.

    So you've decided the Shia Iraqis are about to commit genocide? How about we wait to see what happens. What's your alternative idea to retake Mosul from ISIS? Or do you think they should be left alone.
    Then you have the "regular" Iraqi army, who are also Shia, but a bit more controllable. But still prone to sudden uncontrolled flight back to Baghdad whenever they find themselves in a Sunni area, which is quite understandable.
    The Kurds are definitely the most trustworthy and reliable.

    As for the Sunni militias you speak of, I doubt the existence of a militia that is willing to take up arms against its own people. But I have no doubt that the American special forces on the ground are trying to recruit a temporary militia force which can be labelled "Sunni Moderates" and they will pushed to the forefront for the cameras when the city is "liberated".

    You seem to want to believe the worst in everyone involved.

    As far as the Sunni militias are concerned they are liberating their "own people" from ISIS, they are not taking up arms against their "own people". There are plenty of Sunni muslims who despise ISIS and their distortion of Islam.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Brian? wrote: »
    So you've decided the Shia Iraqis are about to commit genocide? How about we wait to see what happens. What's your alternative idea to retake Mosul from ISIS? Or do you think they should be left alone.
    There is no solution in sight for the people of Mosul unfortunately, they have been well and truly shafted. The choice is between domination by IS nutcases, or domination by a Shia govt. that hates them. And now they are going to be bombed, shelled, and starved for the next couple of months.

    There are three possible forms of stable govt. in this region;
    1. A Sunni fundamentalist religious state such as IS or Saudi Arabia. It can only exist in a Sunni area.

    2. A Shia state such as Iran or the current rump version of what was Iraq. It can only exist in a Shia area.

    3. A secular state run by an arab nationalist, which keeps the lid on religious tensions within the population. It can encompass mixed areas, including Sunni, Shia, Christian, Yazidi etc. It needs a "strongman" to lead it, maybe a dictator and typically a Baathist with a military background. Saddam Hussein, the Assad family, Nasser of Egypt are all examples.
    This is best for the people, but is not acceptable to US/Israeli interests, who prefer the arabs to exist in a state of constant chaos.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,309 ✭✭✭✭alastair


    recedite wrote: »
    There is no solution in sight for the people of Mosul unfortunately, they have been well and truly shafted. The choice is between domination by IS nutcases, or domination by a Shia govt. that hates them. And now they are going to be bombed, shelled, and starved for the next couple of months.

    There are three possible forms of stable govt. in this region;
    1. A Sunni fundamentalist religious state such as IS or Saudi Arabia. It can only exist in a Sunni area.

    2. A Shia state such as Iran or the current rump version of what was Iraq. It can only exist in a Shia area.

    3. A secular state run by an arab nationalist, which keeps the lid on religious tensions within the population. It can encompass mixed areas, including Sunni, Shia, Christian, Yazidi etc. It needs a "strongman" to lead it, maybe a dictator and typically a Baathist with a military background. Saddam Hussein, the Assad family, Nasser of Egypt are all examples.
    This is best for the people, but is not acceptable to US/Israeli interests, who prefer the arabs to exist in a state of constant chaos.

    There's a fourth and fifth option too:

    4. A non-fundamentalist Sunni dominated state - modelled on the situation in Turkey or (de-facto) Kurdistan.

    5. An Islamic, but non-fundamentalist and non-sectarian democratic Iraqi constitution and governance that can bring together two fractious groups - it's not as if there haven't been instances of national reconciliation of opposed groupings elsewhere in the past. You don't always need a strong man for this to work.


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