EU security commissioner has warned that the European Union should get ready to face an influx of jihadists if the Islamic state is successfully forced out of its Iraqi basement.
While speaking to Germany’s Die Welt Newspaper, Julian King said that even the tiniest number of militants would be catastrophic for the EU and that they must get ready to handle the situation.
Iraqi on Monday entered into what is considered to be the most offensive move ever taken.
It is believed that more than 5,000 IS fighters will remain in Mosul.
Mosul battle: What offensive is being taken?
A coalition has been formed consisting of Kurdish fighters, Iraqi security personnel, Shia paramilitary forces, Arab tribesmen to make up a force of over 34,000 personnel. All these are backed by the US and other nations. It also has members from different villages and districts in the south and east of Mosul.
Currently the government troops are on their way from the south and have covered about 40 kilometers of the city while the Kurdish fighters have moved 30 kilometers from the east. Their ultimate plan is to encircle the city and then move in all to the centre all together.
US Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said late on Monday that the campaign was “ahead of schedule” but warned it was early days and it was not yet known whether IS fighters would “stand and fight”.
On the other hand, the France Defence Minister said that this could be a battle of weeks if not months.
Mosul battle: What about the Mosul Residents?
As reported by BBC, an Iraqi-American journalist who has been on the outskirts of Mosul and has relatives in the city said the situation there was currently calm.
Steven Nabil went on to explain that there is a mixture of excitement amongst the people with many wondering the dangers of the offensive.
But things look slightly better after phone lines were re-established in the city. The people thus can access free phone line.
“They’ve actually sent out hundreds of messages in the past hours telling the coalition” where IS locations are, particularly as they have moved into local neighbourhoods, he said.
In preparation for the worst, the UN is putting refugee establishments outside Mosul. It is feared that there will be as many as a million refugees.
Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, said the organisation was working on the assumption that as many as 200,000 people might need shelter in the first days and weeks of the operation.