Posted November 18, 2018 14:16:23A story that could have been a cautionary tale about what could happen if America is ever again to enter a state of civil war has turned out to be a true story.
As the first US ground troops entered Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, the American military launched an operation to retake the city, but its success was short-lived.
By the time the Americans arrived in Baghdad in mid-November, the militants had already overrun the city.
The militants had occupied the Iraqi parliament and had established a network of checkpoints along the country’s border with Syria.ISIS militants had seized swathes of Iraq, including Mosul, as well as the Syrian city of Palmyra.
The US military had a huge and complicated mission to stop the militants from taking control of Mosul and other Iraqi cities.
It had to defend the country from a potential invasion by Kurdish forces in the north and to prevent the spread of Islamic State, the extremist group that has been waging a war against the US and its allies since 2014.
And in doing so, it had to protect US interests in Iraq, which were at stake if ISIS took Mosul.
That’s because the Americans were not the only military force to enter Iraq.
A separate operation to take the city of Tikrit, the largest city in Iraq and the cradle of the Shia-dominated government there, also failed to stop ISIS from taking over.
The Mosul operation, led by US special forces and Iraqi soldiers, was supposed to be the first step in a comprehensive US-led offensive to take back the city and rid Iraq of the group that had taken over much of Iraq.
But as the fighting intensified in the final days of the campaign, the US military decided it had failed and had to back off from Tikrit.
As a result, the city was liberated by the Iraqi government on December 3.
American soldiers were on the ground in Tikrit by mid-January, but their presence in the country did not end the threat posed by ISIS.ISIS fighters in Tikrat were still operating out of the city as well.
And just as the US-backed Iraqi forces were getting ready to enter Tikrit with their new offensive, the group launched an attack on the capital, Baghdad.
By early January, more than 150 American soldiers had been killed.
They were fighting alongside Iraqi security forces, who were also fighting ISIS.
But in retaliation, the terrorist group launched a full-scale assault on Baghdad.
The group had set fire to parts of the Iraqi capital and the US had not been able to protect the city’s main airport.
The Iraqi military, with the help of American special forces, eventually cleared the city in the days after the attack, but the US suffered heavy casualties.
And as Iraqi forces recaptured the capital on January 22, ISIS was no more.