The Iraqi and Kurdish forces were pushing in on Mosul from the east and south on the eighth day of the Mosul operation. Turkey once again inflamed Iraqi sentiment, while within Mosul itself IS continued to deal with its imminent demise.
New casualty reports came out for October 23. 19 Peshmerga were killed and 78 wounded, along with 6 displaced dying and 10 being wounded by an IED. The true figures are much higher as Baghdad and Irbil are not releasing any numbers. Only the occasional reporter at the front provides a glimpse into losses.
The Iraqi and Kurdish forces were pushing forward once again. In the east, the Golden Division launched a pincer attack from Bartella. The unit six freed towns. From the south, the Federal Police and Army took eight villages, and the army took another in the southeast. The Peshmerga were laying siege to Bashiqa in the northeast. They were digging trenches around it, and took one town as well. On other fronts the Kurds said they reached the limit of their advance and were digging in. Before the campaign Irbil and Baghdad came to an agreement about their respective roles. The Kurds agreed to take the perimeter of Mosul to the north and east, and not enter the city itself. At the same time they are claiming all of the territory that they take as part of the disputed territories, which the Iraqi government does not agree with. That issue will have to be resolved after the battle for Mosul is over.
For the second time the Islamic State struck at the Sinjar district in western Ninewa. IS has been attacking at various locations including Kirkuk City and Rutba in western Anbar in an attempt to draw forces away from Mosul. The Sinjar thrusts have been quite small, while the other two were quite spectacular examples of well planned and elaborate commando raids into urban areas. They have had no impact on Mosul however.
In the Mosul district IS showed signs that its time was running out. There was another report that IS executed 40 families south of Mosul as it was retreating. The group continued to destroy sections of the city itself. It apparently burned some mosques, schools, and service departments. At Mosul Hospital it kicked out dozens of patients to make way for its own wounded. There were also stories of food and fuel shortages.
Turkey appeared set on angering Baghdad. The day before Turkish forces fired artillery into the Bashiqa district claiming it was to support the Peshmerga. The Kurds denied that they asked for any assistance. The next day, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkish planes were taking part in the Mosul operation. President Recept Tayyip Erdogan has made his goal clear. In a TV interview he stated, “But there is a major question, who will then control the city [Mosul]? Of course, Sunni Arabs, Sunni Turkmen and Sunni Kurds.” He was referring to Ankara’s allies in Ninewa such as the Nujafi’s and Massoud Barzani. Through these actors Erdogan hopes to establish hegemony over not only Mosul but the entire province of Ninewa. His plans are not going well however, and only garnering the enduring enmity of Baghdad.
Reported Casualties In Mosul Operation Oct 17-24, 2016
Dead: 1 Reporter, 1 U.S. Sailor, 1 Hashd, 2 Kurdish Counter Terrorism Operatives, 3 Doctors, 4 Soldiers, 6 Displaced, 60 Peshmerga
Wounded: 4 Reporters, 10 Displaced, 30 Soldiers, 253 Peshmerga
(The higher figures for Peshmerga vs Soldiers is due to more Western reporters being embedded with the Kurds than the ISF)
Executed by Islamic State Oct 17-24, 2016
Abdul-Zahra, Qassim and Krauss, Joseph, "Iraqis Press Toward Mosul, Face Questions About Airstrike," Associated Press, 10/24/16
Bas News, “Iraqi Security Forces Advancing Towards Central Mosul,” 10/24/16
- "IS Executes 40 Families in South of Mosul," 10/24/16
- "Peshmerga Foils an IS Attack in Batnaya Near Mosul," 10/24/16
Buratha News, "Freed Christian Karmales east of Mosul," 10/24/16
Dehghanpisheh, Babak and Georgy, Michael, "Ferocity of Kirkuk attack points to tough fight for Mosul," Reuters, 10/24/16
Dettmer, Jamie, “US Scrambles to Contain Flaring Turkey-Iraq Tensions,” Voice of America, 10/24/16
eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - October 24, 2016," 10/24/16
- “Kurdish forces reject alleged request help from Turkey in Mosul operation,” 10/24/16
Face Iraq, "Security forces announced they foiled a suicide attack on a Mosul police station," 10/24/16
Hennessy-Fiske, Molly, "Even the badly wounded are itching to return to the battle for Mosul: 'I'm fighting for my land,'" Los Angeles Times, 10/24/16
Iraqi News, "Iraqi forces liberate 2 villages south of Mosul," 10/24/16
- "Peshmerga forces kill 15 ISIS militants and destroy 7 car bombs in Sinjar," 10/24/16
Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul: Oct. 23, 2016,” 10/23/16
- "Inside Mosul: Oct. 24, 2016," 10/24/16
Al Maalomah, “Daesh burn mosques and schools in Mosul and directed sectarian slogans on walls,” 10/24/16
- "Security forces surround victory neighboring in Rutba preparing to storm it," 10/24/16
Al Mada, "Freed five villages in the vicinity of Bartila," 10/24/16
- "Freed four villages in the area south of Mosul," 10/24/16
NINA, "6 Civilians Killed, 10 Injured South Of Mosul," 10/23/16
Rudaw, “Peshmerga reach point beyond which they will not advance in Mosul offensive,” 10/24/16
- "UPDATES: Mosul offensive, Day 8," 10/24/16
Shafaq News, "A senior military commander survived a suicide bombing east of Mosul," 10/24/16
- "Urgent..Iraqi forces repel a Daesh attack south of Mosul," 10/24/16
Sowell, Kirk, “The Regional and Domestic Political Context of the Mosul Offensive,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 10/18/16
Alsumaria, “Daesh expels more than 40 patients including the elderly from Mosul Hospital,” 10/24/16