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    Iraqi forces are deployed during an offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants outside Mosul, Iraq, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

    Victory in Mosul 'Will Help Hillary Clinton Win the White House'

    © AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed
    Middle East
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    US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s words that the Mosul operation in Iraq is aimed to help his rival Hillary Clinton win the election are not groundless. A military victory in Iraq could bolster the Democrats’ positions before the November vote, said Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Senate.

    Earlier, a military and diplomatic source in Moscow told RIA Novosti that Washington and Riyadh planned to establish a corridor to let Daesh terrorists leave Mosul before assaulting the city.

    According to the source, the plan includes moving 9,000 militants from Mosul to eastern Syria for possible attacks on Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor, currently under control of the Syrian Army.

    In this context, some experts suggested that Barack Obama’s administration is using the Mosul campaign in the interests of Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.

    "We can take back Mosul and move on into Syria," Hillary Clinton said during the final debate on Wednesday.

    "The only reason they did it is because she's running for the office of president and they want to look tough. They want to look good," Trump responded. "She wanted to look good for the election, so they're going in."

    Military or Electoral Campaign?

    "Probably, we’re in a situation when military campaigns are becoming part of electoral campaigns. At least, Trumps doesn’t seem to be fantasizing when he says Mosul operation is also aimed to help Hillary Clinton win the White House," Kosachev told RIA Novosti.

    According to the politician, now Washington has problems with real achievements in the Middle East. Moreover, those achievements should be made "demonstratively and by military force."

    "The US and Europe has fiercely criticized Moscow and Damascus for the operation in Aleppo. However, this criticism generates an additional and unwanted effect. It demonstrates who is really fighting on the ground and who is engaged only in media campaigns. This is why pressure is mounting on the White House. So, a splendid little war would be very helpful here," the lawmaker pointed out.

    Experts noted that as for Mosul, such a military operation was possible even a month ago. But in the context of the upcoming US election, the offensive was launched closer to the election time in a bid to produce bigger media effect, Kosachev said.

    "It was reported that even the Iraqi military understands that there is some informal agreement that lets terrorists leave Mosul. The city is not blocked. Earlier this week, media reported that at least 100 Daesh commanders had already left Mosul," the lawmaker said.

    Side Effects of the Mosul Campaign

    Kosachev underscored that militants are leaving Mosul and then moving to Syria, to reinforce the groups fighting the government of Bashar Assad.

    "By doing this, the US can reach several goals at the same time. I’m sure that soon Mosul will be liberated. So, the Democrats will have a military victory prior to the election. At the same time, the terrorists will move to Syria to fight Assad and the Russians. Moreover, it was reported that in the future the Pentagon plans to build in Mosul the largest military base in the region," he pointed out.

    However, in fact, the situation could not be that bright and flawless, he added.

    The European Security Commissioner recently warned that the European Union should brace for an influx of jihadists disguised as refugees if the coalition retakes Mosul.

    "This is quite a present danger," Kosachev commented.

    "But I don’t think that the possible terrorist threat in Europe could influence the electoral campaign in the US. Washington doesn’t take much care of this side effect," he said.

    The US is not also very concerned about the humanitarian situation on the ground.

    "The United Nations already warned that up to 1.5 million people living in Mosul could be affected by the operation. Moreover, I think there is the risk that some civilian casualties will not be reported," Kosachev said.

    Meanwhile, the number of people fleeing Mosul is on the rise. Civilians are leaving the city as the Iraqi Army and its allies are making advances against Daesh in the area.

    On Friday, nearly 300 civilians from villages in northern Mosul escaped from Daesh militants and came to positions of Kurdish Peshmerga militias. Peshmerga fighters evacuated people from the area to a camp for civilians in Dahuk.

    Most of the refugees are Arabs and Kurds. There were many women and children among them. Peshmerga fighters gave water and food to them. Many people were scared, children were crying.

    Representatives of the Kurdish forces told Sputnik Turkiye that in the coming days the number of refugees from Mosul will significantly increase. People who fled the city said that hundreds of thousands of people want to leave.


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    Kurds, military operation, terrorism, refugees, 2016 US Presidential election, Daesh, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Iraq, United States, Mosul
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