Iraqi forces preparing for final assault on 4-7 neighborhoods Islamic State still controls in west Mosul (white area) (Ninewa Media Cell)
No combat was reported in Mosul during the day. That was because the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) were gearing up for the final push on the city. The Joint Operations Command told the press that the city would fall in a few days. Even so, it warned that the fighting in the Old City would be difficult because of the narrow streets forcing the ISF to move into the district on foot. The ISF was also trying to get civilians to leave the area. Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon wouldn’t give a timeline for how long the battle would take, but didn’t think it would be over quickly like the Iraqis. Finally, Badr head Hadi Amiri criticized the Coalition for only giving token support and blamed it for Mosul not being liberated yet. Iraqi announcements are always positive because of its victory narrative. It wasn’t that long ago that they were claiming that the west Mosul would be so much easier than the east because most of the Islamic State fighters had fled. That didn’t happen. Amiri on the other hand is an ally of Iran and always looks to denigrate the work of the Americans and its allies as a result. Colonel Dillon was probably the most realistic. Mosul will fall, but no one can be sure how long it will take.