ISIS Builds Tunnels and Trenches Around Mosul

ISIS is getting ready for the attack on Mosul: It plans on creating a "river of fire" along the city's perimeter.

The group has been working hard this month to dig a two-metre by two-metre trench along the city's perimeter and position oil tanks nearby to create a river of fire that would impede advancing troops and hinder aerial surveillance, according to senior Iraq military officers, Mosul residents, and local officials based outside the city.

The U.S. wants to send more U.S. troops to Mosul. [More...]

The new U.S. forces would increase the number of American personnel officially deployed to Iraq from 4,400 to about 4,900. The Pentagon also maintains up to 1,500 additional U.S. forces that it doesn’t acknowledge as part of its Iraq force, most at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or on temporary assignments. The new deployment would bring the overall U.S. presence to as high as 6,400. The 500 would be in addition to roughly 400 new personnel the U.S. sent to Iraq in early September to prepare for the Mosul offensive.

ISIS did not use mustard gas in an attack on Qayyarah airbase in Iraq. Qayyarah is the base where hundreds of U.S. troops are gathered in preparation for a battle to take back Mosul. It fired a rocket shell which had a powdered mustard agent. Very different than mustard gas.

The U.S. has known about ISIS' use of mustard powder for a long time.

According to a Defense official:

The official downplayed the seriousness of the incident, saying the shell would have been "militarily ineffective." "Our concern is not much greater after seeing this," he said.

Here's an in depth report from 2014 on the chemical weapons left behind in Iraq.

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  • Display: Sort:
    A six and one half foot wide river of fire (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Sep 24, 2016 at 04:43:03 PM EST
    will box in the guys in black (cloth) way more effectively than it excludes an army with helicopters and tanks.

    I am amazed at how remote all this seems from every day life.