BLOG TOUR~BOOK EXCERPT~THE MOSUL LEGACY by CHRISTOPHER LOWERY~lovebooksgroup

BOOK: Mosul legacy
AUTHOR: Christopher Lowery
Here’s an excerpt from MOSUL LEGACY. Enjoy!
THE MOSUL LEGACY
7
‘The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil
is that Good Men Do Nothing.’
Attrib. to Edmund Burke MP, 18th Century.
PROLOGUE
Mosul, Iraq
June 2014
Allahu Akbar
, Allah is Great!’
The man was known as Karl. His face and limbs were
burned brown from years in the desert and his features
under the spotlight were aquiline and cruel. A livid scar
ran across his right cheek, witness to only one of the
many wars he’d fought for his cause. He had survived so
many battles he’d outlived everyone who had ever borne
arms at his side. He was a living legend, and he was on
the verge of his greatest triumph.
His cry was taken up and repeated by the hundreds
of ISIL jihadists under his command, echoing across the
desert surrounding Qaryat al Ashiq, at the junction of
Route 47 and Highway One, the western entry road into
Mosul, the largest town in northern Iraq. Karl lifted his
AK47 assault rifle and fired into the air. A moment later,
dozens of pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine
guns and spotlights sped off towards the city in deadly
convoys, destroying everything in their path. Each truck
held fighters carrying assault rifles and light machine
guns, mostly captured from previous battles with the
Iraqi army. They blasted their way past the checkpoints
and advanced through the suburbs into the heart of the
city with virtually no opposition from the military or
police contingents.
It was 02:30 in the morning on Wednesday 4th June
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THE MOSUL LEGACY
THE MOSUL LEGACY
9
8
2014 and after the fall of Fallujah, the
City of Mosques
,
close to Baghdad in central Iraq, it was now Mosul’s turn
to feel the devastating sting of the jihadists’ venom. The
previous night, the ISIL military leader, Abu Abdulrahman
al-Bilawi, had blown himself up to avoid being captured
by the Iraqi police. The police commander, Lieutenant
General Mahdi Gharawi, had hoped this would avert an
attack on the city. He was wrong.
An ancient Assyrian city, Mosul had achieved a brief
moment of fame in July 2003, when Saddam Hussein’s
sons, Qusay and Uday, were killed there in a gun battle
during the allied invasion. The city was the greatest prize
ever targeted by ISIL, with a population of 2.5 million
citizens – ten times that of Raqqa in Syria, which they
captured in 2014 during the civil war against the hated
tyrant, Bashar al-Assad. Raqqa was named as the capital
of the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
by the self-
proclaimed Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Ever since, it
had been a convenient launching pad for incursions into
Iraq by ISIL fighters.
Following Karl’s simple, bold plan, the jihadists came
across Syria’s eastern desert and over the border into the
ancient lands of Nineveh Plains in Iraq’s north-western
territory. Their objective was to secure a couple of
outlying neighbourhoods, but such was their barbaric,
ruthless efficiency and the incompetent and fainthearted
lack of resistance from the Iraqi defence forces, they
reached the Tigris River, which runs through the centre of
Mosul. On the way, they overran several military bases,
strengthening their arsenal with the heavy weapons,
armoured vehicles and ammunition depots they held.
The Iraqis capitulated before their onslaught and the
ISIL fighters captured several key positions in the city.
Karl was astonished at the success of their incursion;
instead of the attack being a hit and run, they had
established a solid base in the heart of Mosul. Despite
having infiltrated hundreds of spies and sleeper cells
amongst the population in the months preceding the
attack, he’d had no inkling of how ill-prepared and
craven their defensive forces were. As the realisation
dawned on him, he had an audacious idea, an idea that
would change the world’s perception of the ISIL jihadist
caliphate. That night, he returned to the desert to meet
other senior militants to prepare a plan of execution and
once again take the Iraqis by surprise.
On June 6th and 7th, ISIL forces attacked the north-
west defences, battering the city with mortar fire, shelling
and missiles. Then, on the morning of June 8th, with four
other commanders, Karl led convoys of four hundred
heavily armed fighters in a hundred trucks into Mosul,
penetrating all areas of the city. They targeted police
stations, the security headquarters and military barracks,
executing all those who failed to escape their wrath. The
sleeper cells that had been waiting for the attack were
activated and carried out selected assassinations of key
political and security officials. The city quickly found
itself leaderless and a state of anarchy took over. For two
more days the ISIL jihadists purged what was left of the
forces of order and captured more strategic objectives.
They seized industrial and government buildings and
infrastructure, including the International Airport
with dozens of fighting helicopters. Large numbers of
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