Possible revolt in ISIS ranks in Mosul
The Iraqi army is approaching the city of Mosul from two directions and has already pushed ISIS out of some outlying districts.
But inside the city, there appears to be a significant revolt. Several ISIS fighters have been ambushed and killed, while some of the ISIS turncoats have been executed in recent days, including four commanders.
Former Nineveh Province Governor Atheel Al-Nujaifi, who commands the National Mobilization Force of Sunni fighters, confirms that attacks are taking place inside Mosul with increased frequency.
“There was an attack in the Old City of Mosul on Friday. A man threw a hand grenade at Daesh militants. He was captured, executed and his body dragged through the streets behind a truck,” Nujaifi told the Washington Free Beacon by telephone Sunday. Daesh is an alternative name for ISIS.
“In another incident, an ISIS militant was shouting at a local woman who was not wearing her head scarf and an unknown man attacked the Daesh soldier with a knife,” Al-Nujaifi added.
The news site Sumaria reported Friday that Daesh militia are looking for unknown people in Mosul who tore up Daesh posters and pictures of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in different areas in the city. There are also reports of firefights within the ISIS police force as tension mounts and morale for the ISIS soldiers plummets. According to a Friday report by the Iraqi newspaper Mada, seven Daesh terrorists were killed in internal clashes between Daesh’s Islamic rules police, thehisbah, and security members.
Some Iraqi politicians have predicted that an insurrection will break out as the Iraqi army moves closer to liberating Mosul. An MP from Ninewa, Ahmed Al-Jubouri, who also leads an armed group, told an Iraqi newspaper on Wednesday that “People of Mosul are awaiting the start of the Ninewa liberation operations in order to revolt against Daesh.” He also says some of his fighters sneaked into Mosul city to carry out assassinations against ISIS terrorists.
ISIS executed four of its top commanders in a public square in Mosul on Wednesday, according to multiple sources, including Bas News, a Kurdish news site. The commanders reportedly were convicted by a Sharia Court for high treason on June 22nd and hanged in Mosul the same day, according to media reports. The executions follow the hanging or beheading of 21 ISIS commanders since April and the executions of scores of ISIS fighters charged with desertion or collaborating with Iraqi Army agents.
The Islamic State is an organization heavily dependent on its myth of invincibility and its reputation for extraordinary cruelty. This psychological edge showed up when poorly led Iraqi army units threw down their weapons and ran away from battle, even though they outnumbered ISIS fighters.
But Shia militias – sometimes under the direct command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards – match ISIS cruelty with fanaticism. Their recent victory in Fallujah showed an ability to confront ISIS fighters on equal terms.
We have heard whispers in the past of unrest among ISIS fighters who come under seige by Iraqi forces. But what's happening in Mosul appears to be the real deal – a significant revolt against ISIS leadership. It probably won't make the job of liberating Mosul any easier. ISIS has its own fanatics willing to carry out suicide attacks and stand their ground ’til death. But perhaps what seemed an impossible task last year can now barely be discerned as doable.