Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Daniel Serwer: The story will not end with Mosul’s liberation

Daniel Serwer's assessment on the fates of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the upcoming offesive to retake Mosul, Iraq from the Islamic State,
One briefing document produced by a KRG department presents three possible scenarios for the Mosul offensive’s IDP fallout. In the first, best-case scenario, the operation lasts only a few weeks. In this case, the number of IDPs will remain comparatively low, as Da’esh bans freedom of movement, and Mosuli civilians attempt to weather the conflict at home. 
The second, middle-case, scenario gives the 420,000 IDP contingency figure. It assumes an offensive lasting more than several weeks, in which shelling and airstrikes become more intense, and the battle descends into block-by-block street fighting. 
In the third, worst case scenario the offensive lasts several months. Bitter street fighting, increasing shortages of food and supplies, and inner-city chaos ensue as Da’esh slowly loses control. In this scenario, the number of people fleeing the fighting may rise to more than a million.
Remember US participation still under Bush era Congressional Authorizations for Use of Force. Few in the media are paying much attention to this much less working out the scenarios which per Serwer could be very bad if the US not prepared to help.  I doubt we are.

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