The US military should stay out of the battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from Daesh (ISIL), a former Pentagon official says, warning that any US participation in the offensive would provide terrorists useful recruitment tactics.
Wednesday marked the third day of military operations by the Iraqi army, volunteer Shia and Sunni fighters as well as Kurdish Peshmerga forces to liberate Mosul, the last stronghold of Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, which they overran in June 2014.
US forces are also taking part in the operation, where they remain in the “harm’s way,” as put by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Monday.
Of the more than 5,000 American military forces present in Iraq, over 100 are taking part in the operation, American commanders say.
American helicopters and fighter jets are also providing air support to the Iraqi army, according to the Pentagon.
Michael Maloof, a Pentagon veteran based in Washington, told Press TV that the American forces should stick to training Iraqi fighters and avoid direct involvement in the operation.
“In effect, they are going to be undertaking an increasingly important combat role which is not what the US wanted,” Maloof said. “This raises political problems.”
The former official noted that “if US troops start taking over” then the battle would no longer be an “Iraqi battle to take back Mosul.”
Maloof noted that aside from possible consequences in Baghdad, the US military’s participation in the offensive would “send political fallout” back in Washington.
“If there is a perception that the US is taking over and it is going to become a US fight again, that would constitute a very very serious problem and then that will reinforce the ISIS’ claims of crusaders coming back,” a useful recruitment tactic, he added.
Maloof also noted that the war would likely continue on a military and political level even after the battle for Mosul.