Tags: Fox News | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | isis | mosul | jack keane | iraq

Jack Keane: ISIS Didn't Need Details of Plan to Retake Mosul

By    |   Friday, 20 Feb 2015 11:28 AM

Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane said Friday that the Islamic State "is not stupid" and already knew that defending Mosul will be key to the militants' campaign, but he still finds it "surprising" that a top military official Thursday unveiled plans for retaking the Iraqi city.

"It's mystifying that the U.S. military command would release the who, what, when of a pending operation," Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff and now a Fox News military analyst, said on Fox's "America's Newsroom."  "We do that just prior to an operation and embargo the media until the operation is finished."

Typically, Keane said, "It's a known fact the White House National Security staff has a clamp on the military talking to the media. And the White House National Security staff also micromanages the military.

"So then it's unfathomable that a military official in CENTCOM is releasing the details of an upcoming operation."

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On Thursday, a senior U.S. Central Command official said that the battle's shaping is underway, with the Iraqi military hoping to begin operations in April or May. The plan is to retake the city before the Ramadan season begins on June 17.

According to the official, five Iraqi Army brigades will take part in the attack, along with other smaller brigades to bring up the force to 25,000 Iraqi troops, who will be joined by three brigades of Kurdish peshmerga fighters.

Special: Find Out Everything You Need to Know About the Rise of ISIS — Click Here

"That is pretty amazing that that information's out there," Keane said of the details about the force size and other facts about the upcoming battle.

The retired general said he does not believe the information was released as an effort to intimidate the Islamic State, as some have suggested.

"ISIS is resolute," Keane said. "They are going to fight and they are willing to die. So I don't believe our flagging an upcoming attack would break their will. They are looking forward to the fight."

Further, Keane said it's likely that ISIS knows that an offensive would come at some point before Ramadan.

"They know an attack is coming," he said. "They also know Ramadan is coming in the heat of the summer, and they are looking at the Iraqis and figured out themselves Iraq would rather do this before Ramadan, and if they can't, they will do it in the fall."

But while it is not new to ISIS that the forces are coming, "the details are pretty surprising."

Mosul has been under the control of ISIS since June, and military officials believe there are now between 1,000 to 2,000 insurgents in the city, reports Fox.

One of the brigades of Iraqi troops included in the upcoming battle will have been trained by U.S. special operations, and the official providing the details said the United States will provide the military assistance they will need in Mosul, including air support, training, and more.

"But by the same token, if they're not ready, if the conditions are not set, if all the equipment they need is not physically there and they [aren't] trained to a degree in which they will be successful, we have not closed the door on continuing to slide that to the right," the official said.

Special: ISIS: Everything you need to know about the rise of the militant group — Click Here

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Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane said Friday that "ISIS is not stupid" and already knew that defending Mosul will be key to its campaign, but he still finds it "surprising" that a top military official Thursday unveiled plans for retaking the Iraqi city.
isis, mosul, jack keane, iraq, military, centcom
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2015-28-20
Friday, 20 Feb 2015 11:28 AM
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