Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day Thirty-Four, Nov 19, 2016


The Golden Division made more progress in eastern Mosul, while the Islamic State was counter attacking. The Moalimin neighborhood was freed, while Muharabeen and Ulama were attacked. There was still fighting going on in Tahrir and Qadisiya, which were cleared before. General Abdul Wahab al-Saddi of the division said that 10 of the 50 neighborhoods in the eastern half of Mosul were under control. With IS re-infiltration however, many of those like Qadisiyah, appear to still be contested. Reuters also reported that around 200 civilians and members of the security forces had been sent to the hospital over the last week, another sign of the heavy toll the campaign is taking on those involved.

In the south the army was still clearing villages. Two more were freed, and the 9th Division declared all of Nimrod district liberated.

The Hashd were still working on the Tal Afar airport area in the southwest before making an assault on the town of the same name. The Hashd said that all of the airport was secured and three villages in the area were freed.

The Islamic State carried out a surprise attack on Imam Gharbi, which is south of Mosul. It held the town for several hours before air strikes and the Iraqi forces drove them out.

Buzz Feed spent some time with a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) team in Mosul. The teams work with the U.S. led Coalition to call in air strikes. Usually an American accompanies them, but the one that the journalists visited was operating on its own, although a French intelligence officer was present. That day, they were working with 2 Apaches helicopters, a drone, and fighter jets. Their main job was trying to destroy car bombs before they hit the Iraqi forces (ISF). Two major problems were the speed with which some of the vehicle borne improvised explosive devices came in they could not be struck, and the other was the amount of civilians, which sometimes meant air strikes had to be called off to stop any collateral damage. 

Finally, the Associated Press witnessed the re-opening of a church in Bashiqa. The cross on top of the building, which the Islamic State had taken down was replaced, the church bells rung, and a service held. Unfortunately most of the town was completely destroyed in the fighting making this event just one of many that will be needed to restore life.

SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim and Rohan, Brian, "Iraqi troops face stiff resistance from IS in eastern Mosul," Associated Press, 11/19/16

Bas News, "20 Civilians Killed by IS Mortar Shells in Eastern Mosul," 11/19/16

Giglio, Mike, “This Is How Ground Troops In Mosul Are Calling US Airstrikes On ISIS,” Buzz Feed, 11/19/16

Hashd, Tawfeeq, Mohammed and Formanek, Ingrid, "Iraqi forces recapture key air base near Mosul," CNN, 11/16/16

Kalin, Stephen, "Civilian casualties from Mosul are overwhelming capacity, U.N. warns," Reuters, 11/19/16

Al Maalomah, "Security forces destroyed two truck bombs norhteast Mosul," 11/19/16

Al Mada, "Anti-terrorism forces free Moalimin neighborhood east Mosul," 11/19/16

Rudaw, "LIVE UPDATES: Battle for Mosul, Day 34," 11/19/16

Shafaq News, "Iraqi forces say they liberated Nimrod district," 11/19/16
- "Popular crowd repels attack and frees three villages surrounding Tal Afar Airport," 11/19/16

No comments: