The Hashd and Federal Police were moving southwest of Mosul heading for the town of Tal Afar on the thirteenth day of the Mosul operation. That led to more inflammatory remarks by Turkey. There were also more executions by the Islamic State and displacement.
On October 29, 2016 the Hashd announced they were joining the Hashd operation. The aim was to capture the towns of Hatra, Tal Abta and Tal Afar. The various groups were taking three routes to Tal Afar from the southeast. They were supported by elements of the Federal Police. Together they freed 15 towns.
The Hashd entering the fray led to more angry comments by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He threatened to reinforce the border town of Silopi near Tal Afar to protect the town’s Turkmen against any Hashd terrorism. On the other hand, the Turkish Foreign minister offered diplomatic talks to resolve Turkey’s military base in Bashiqa, which Baghdad has demanded by abandoned. Ankara has constantly made these types of comments as it considers Mosul under its sphere of influence. It does not want the Hashd involved in the campaign, seeing them as pro-Iranian, sectarian actors. It also wants to be part of the liberation process to ensure its influence, but all it has done so far is anger many Iraqis and Baghdad.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) was also at work. The army and Federal Police said they had freed Shura for the second time. It was originally declared freed the second day of the operation, but that appeared to be an exaggeration. The 9th Division of the Iraqi army liberated another six villages.
In Mosul, there was more news of massacres and displacement. The Iraqi Human Rights Commission claimed 100 people were executed in Mosul. Iraq Oil Report also received a story from a resident that civilians were trying to abandon the city. There are still reports of sporadic attacks by resistance movements against the Islamic State inside Mosul.
Finally, there were some new figures on the number of displaced that this campaign has caused. On October 28 the United Nations High Commission for Refugees stated that 16,566 people had left their homes since the Mosul campaign started on October 17. At the same time, around 900 people had already left the camp at Debaga and gone back to their homes in the Qayara district south of Mosul. October 29 the International Organization for Migration had approximately 17,500 displaced so far. The U.N. has mentioned that there is a constant flow of people south of Mosul with people fleeing the Islamic State, but others returning to their towns as son as they are liberated.
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