The Golden Division claimed activity in two parts of east Mosul. The Tahrir neighborhood was freed for the third time. Barid was also attacked. That area was first entered on November 30. The Iraqi forces have found it difficult to maintain control of many of the neighborhoods on the frontline because of Islamic State counterattacks and infiltration. It has become part of the back and forth nature of the operation that neighborhoods change hands several times. Overall, more areas are being attacked and freed it has just been a slow and very difficult process.
There was activity on other fronts as well. In the north the Iraqi forces liberated three towns. In the south at least one neighborhood of Mosul was struck by artillery. The Iraqi police said that they were not close enough to fire on the city yet. A military source claimed that the fire was coming from French artillery. There has been very little activity on these two fronts for weeks now. They are hopefully beginning to ramp up for another push on the city to help relieve the pressure on those forces that are already inside Mosul in the east.
Inside Mosul there was internal displacement going on. A major in a SWAT outfit said that the Islamic State went through three areas of east Mosul and forced residents from their homes to convert them into battle positions. Al Jazeera on the other hand was in Zahra where it talked with people who said families were fleeing from convict zones into other people’s homes in the district. Talking with a clinic set up in a house in Samah Al Jazeera also heard that up to 50 people, mostly civilians were being wounded a day from the fighting.
Finally, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the press that Mosul could fall before Donald Trump was inaugurated president on January 20, 2017. That is a little more time than Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has talked about as he has set a date for the end of this year. Still, neither is probably right as it looks like taking the city will be a very drawn out fight.
Ali, Idrees, “Recapture of Mosul ‘possible’ before next U.S. administration: Pentagon chief,” Reuters, 12/5/16
Bas News, "Iraqi Forces Retake Two More Neighborhoods East of Mosul," 11/17/16
Beck, John, “Mosul residents ‘won’t leave’ despite dire conditions,” Al Jazeera, 12/5/16
Evans, Dominic and Rasheed, Ahmed, “West Mosul shelled as Iraq steps up fight against Islamic State,” Reuters, 12/5/16
Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul: Nov. 5, 2016," 11/5/16
- "Inside Mosul, Nov. 30, 2016," 11/30/16
Mostafa, Mohamed, "Security recapture 8 Mosul villages, Hashd rescue 200 families," Iraqi News, 12/5/16
Rudaw, "Fierce clashes in Mosul as army tries to push into new neighborhoods to evict ISIS," 12/5/16