Isis will fall in Mosul . . .
Seth J. Frantzman, writing for The Spectator (August 27, 2016), informs us that "Isis will fall in Mosul," and asks, "But what happens then?" before offering a hint, namely, that "Inside the coalition against Islamic State, a quieter battle is being waged for the fate of northern Iraq." But let's see why Frantzman thinks ISIS is on its last legs in Mosul:
At night, the temperature around the Islamic State-held city of Mosul drops to around 80°F. At the Bashiqa front line, 15 miles northeast of the city, it would feel pleasant and almost calm, were it not for the steady sound of exploding shells. Most of life is tea and cigarettes . . . 'It's so peaceful you can't imagine what's happening - it's surreal,' says Allan Duncan, a former soldier with the Royal Irish Regiment who volunteered to join the Kurdish peshmerga here two years ago in order to fight Isis. 'You almost forget that things are so close to the end. 'Soon, the waiting - amid an abiding fear of attacks with suicide trucks, armoured like something out of Mad Max - will be over. The final assault on Mosul[,] . . . taken by Islamic State two years ago, is expected to end Isis's control of significant [Iraqi territory]. Isis certainly seems to sense that the endgame has begun, and is responding with its customary brutality. It has been killing deserters, and relying on ever-younger recruits. Last month a massive car bomb killed 323 in a Shia district of Baghdad during Ramadan . . . . [But] Bahram Yassin, the peshmerga commanding officer, oversees 7,000 men along 30 miles of front line, and seems eager to move. It's thought that Islamic State leaders are already fleeing the city for Syria. 'People are deserting Isis now - their morale is very low and we are ready to attack them,' he says. 'We now know that they have no advanced weapons' . . . . For two years now Isis has run [Mosul,] this once rich and powerful city and the diverse areas around it, destroying its museums and expelling minorities. From the sandbagged positions overlooking Bashiqa, you can see the city lights glowing in the distance. Life seems to go on. Iraqi flags are said to be flying in some neighbourhoods; it's rumoured that locals are set to rise up against Isis.I can imagine that most of those under the rule of ISIS find little reason to regret its passing. The Sunnis may have been privileged, compared to other groups, but that advantage was merely the privilege of the most privileged in a prison.
With the loss of territory, eventually all of its territory, ISIS will devolve into yet another of Islamism's many terrorist groups - let's call them "terrorists without territory" (TWTs, pronounced "twits") - so we will not have heard the last of them.