US-General: Zwei weitere Jahre, um IS zu besiegen

townsend„The general commanding coalition forces in Iraq predicts it will take two years of hard work to clear the so-called Islamic State from its twin capitals of Mosul and Raqqa, and then to burn out the remnants that will likely flee to the vast empty desert between Syria and Iraq. In a Christmas Day sit-down with The Daily Beast at his headquarters, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend would not put specific timelines on the battle. But he mapped out a grinding campaign that he thinks is going slowly but as well as can be expected, considering how much time ISIS had to prepare and how brutal its fighters are willing to be. (…)

The grim battle against ISIS is taking place against a backdrop of continuing sectarian tension in Iraq, which could get worse if newly empowered militia groups let their influence go to their heads. A new Iraqi law that goes into force this week makes militia forces here legal. Such groups – especially Iranian backed Shiite armed forces – have been accused of war crimes against Iraq’s Sunni minority. The U.S. has ordinarily eyed these units warily. But Townsend, in an unusual statement for an American commander, said these militias been been ‚remarkably disciplined‘ allies since he arrived. That assessment marks a stark contrast with his previous tours, when deadly Iranian-manufactured bombs almost hit his vehicle, and took the lives of many of his troops.“ (Kimberley Dozier: „Top U.S. General: Two More Years to Beat ISIS“)

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