There's a video I want you to watch. It was made by CNN reporters who apparently were too gullible. The best Iraqi forces, trained by USA for years, entered the suburbs in convoy of Humvees covered by the 'battle' truck. And that's where the fun begins!
Let's try to figure out what was going on citing CNN reporter:
0:34 This is not a place these soldiers know, but their enemy does.
How is that possible?! Are you trying to tell me there're no locals in this squad? And they just entered an unexplored territory in convoy, like at the parade?
0:50. ISIS snipers are on rooftops and shooting from areas that have civilians in them which makes it almost impossible for the counter-terrorism units to fire back.
How scrupulous and gentle! So much humanity in these soldiers! Let's see what they're going to do when the war escalates further...
1:31. We are in ISIS territory. The roads are getting narrower, the convoy slows down. And on the soldiers' faces nerves begin to show... And then the roads give way to muddy alleys, there's nowhere to turn. And every car here, every garbage can could be a bomb.
She sounds so naturally surprised that they're in ISIS territory! Looks like only now the reporter starts to comprehend what they are getting into.
2:00. A heartbreaking moment – meeting a local family: husband, wife, their 19 year-old daughter and a little son, paralysed with fear. Lots of crying.
2:35. A car approaches. Soldiers are shouting warnings to the driver.
He's running towards the convoy with hands up and was shot point blank. His body was dragged towards a house wall. The reporter asks: “You thought it was a car bomb?” But it's clear he's just a civilian:
An innocent taxi driver, in the wrong place, at the wrong moment.
3:10. Now there's more incoming fire.
And we see valiant soldiers shooting left and right forgetting about civilians (whom they honorably tried not to kill at the beginning of this report). What, they're just in the wrong place at the wrong moment!
3:40. ISIS fighters are on rooftops, three grenades landed on the street. Bullets ricochet off our vehicle, intensifying as we go forward. Then – a suicide car bomb right behind us. Then – another one.
I suspect it was just grenade launcher hits or explosions of small ground bombs. There's not so much noise, dust or debris for a typical suicide bomber (usually terrorists load hundredweights of explosives in their car).
But the reporter's eyes by then are as wide as they could be.
I believe that's not how she imagined this war.
I agree, it's not funny at all – they were drawn deeper into the streets, the tail vehicle of the convoy was hit and all cars were trapped in a 'fire pocket'. Lots of soldiers are wounded.
5:00.Our vehicle takes more fire. Soldiers shoot at a motorbike racing toward us, it's hit.
And honorable Iraqi forces kill a biker Hollywood-style – the whole magazine must be unloaded.
5:20.We realize we're trapped. Vehicles, wreckage everywhere. Our MRAP takes a direct hit.
Lots of cries and foul words.
The cameraman was slightly wounded to the head. Everybody gets out on the street, scurrying around, looking over their shoulder. Soldiers decide to take shelter in the nearest building.
6:12.We take cover: injured soldiers and a terrified family.
Well, it's just freaking great! But it's unclear who uses civilians as human shield: ISIS fighters or Iraqi Special Forces.
6:39.ISIS has disabled almost every vehicle in our convoy. There're only three working Humvees.
6:50.Later ISIS released its own video of the battle. They had filmed the very house we were taking shelter.
7:10.It's almost dark. The front line has moved next to the house where we have sheltered. We need to move, but every time we try, gunfire drives us back.
Finally, we make a run for a Humvee. But there're so many damaged vehicles in our way our Humvee gets entangled in another.
8:20.A frightening night follows. ISIS fighters were filming war booty they recovered from our vehicles.
8:30.It's dawn and we're still alive. We were with more than a dozen wounded soldiers, only six who were not. Ammunition is running low.
Ammunition is running low?! Go figure – you spared them eagerly, every shot found its target!
8:50.We're still waiting for backup. Soldiers are exhausted but determined. They get ready for the attack they know is coming.
The reporter is without make-up today. It's a war, dressing-up is inappropriate.
9:15.Someone was shot. The grief of a woman yards away is almost hideous.
Supposedly, one of the inhabitants was killed– he was also in the wrong place at the wrong time.
9:30.ISIS has the house surrounded. Our only defenders are walking wounded.
10:00.A grenade lands in a courtyard. An air strike hits the house. The family we're with hides under the staircase. One of the boys cries: “I don't want to die.”
10:10.Hours later – a moment of utter relief: a regimen has arrived as backup, along with a Humvee to evacuate us. It's less than a mile to safety. We are lucky! We can leave a combat zone. But these men will have to return. The battle for Mosul has only just begun.
Well, good luck to them. More ISIS fighters killed in Mosul, less of them left for soldiers of other armies.
But if this is what the best Iraqi forces look like, with lame fighting and disgraceful retreat, what about the rest of the army?I'm a little scared to find out...