Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day 55, Dec 10, 2016


On December 9 the Golden Division announced that it freed the Tahrir neighborhood for the fourth time. Many areas along the frontlines are constantly changing hands and this was another example of that.

December 10 the Iraqi forces entered one new area of east Mosul while fighting over some of the same neighborhoods at the same time. Tamim, Meshraq, Qadisiyah 1 and Morour were liberated by a combination of the Golden and 16th Divisions. Tamim was freed once before, while Qadisiyah 1 two times. Morour was a new gain. There was also fighting in Sukar, Noor, Muthanna, Wahda, and Mithaq. The first three had been liberated once each. Units from the 9th Division have been clearing the same five neighborhoods defusing IEDs and clearing houses for over a week now.

There was another report that the Islamic State was taking families from the eastern side of Mosul to the west to be used as human shields. A NINA story said that people from two neighborhoods were forced to move to the Right Bank of the city.

It appears that the southern and northern fronts are shut down for now and forces are shifting to the east. Earlier in the week southern Mosul was shelled. December 10 the town of Albu Saif was also hit. That might have been precursors to a move on the city, but the Associated Press reported that the push from the south was still on hold. Instead Federal Police and Rapid Reaction units are being moved from the south to the southeast to assist the 9th Division there. 4 brigades from the Federal Police already arrived in the city. Other elements of the 9th Division are going through the Zab area in the south. The 16th Division was doing similar duties in the north.

The Hashd in the west were clearing the town of Tal Abta while planning on moving to the Syrian border. They presented a plan to Prime Minister Haidar Abadi to take control of the Iraq-Syrian border from Ninewa to Anbar. Some are concerned that the pro-Iranian elements of the force have ulterior motives to secure a land route from Iran through Iraq to Syria to assist Tehran. On the other hand the frontier has never been secured and the Border Police have not been rebuilt since their losses in 2014 so this could be a good job for the Hashd, not all of which are linked to Iran.

The Displacement Ministry noted that 350 people went back to their liberated towns east of Mosul. They had been at Gogjali a suburb of the city and returned to their homes in eight different villages. There has been a movement of people to freed areas, but that is still a small number compared to the number fleeing the fighting.

Finally, the Washington Post went to Bashiqa, which was liberated during the Mosul operation. The town is under the control of the Peshmerga. The Kurds made a deal with Baghdad to leave all the areas they took during the campaign, but in Bashiqa they appeared to be setting up camp for the long term. That raised the question of whether the Peshmerga will withdraw or try to negotiate a new agreement with the central government to stay in some form.

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, “350 IDPs return back to their liberated areas in Nineveh,” Iraqi News, 12/10/16
- "Iraqi forces free 2 neighborhoods in Mosul," Iraqi News, 12/10/16
- "Joint forces continue liberating 6 areas in western coast of Mosul," Iraqi News, 11/17/16

Agence France Presse, “Iraq police poised to enter Mosul,” 12/10/16

AIN, “Urgent counterterrorism liberate Kafat neighborhood in the left coast of Mosul,” 12/3/16

Al Araby, “Iraq’s Iran-backed militias ‘vying for control of Syria border,’” 12/10/16

Bas News, "Iraqi Forces Retake Two More Neighborhoods East of Mosul," 11/17/16

Buratha News, “Recent development in the field until 17:45 Saturday 10 12 2016,” 12/10/16

Face Iraq, “Security source: the arrival of military reinforcements four brigades of the Federal Police to the southern neighborhoods of east Mosul,” 12/10/16

Al Forat, "Counterterrorism stormed three neighborhoods, left bank of Mosul," 12/10/16

George, Susannah, “Iraq sends reinforcements to eastern Mosul after IS attack,” Associated Press, 12/10/16

Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul: Dec. 10, 2016,” 12/10/16
- "Inside Mosul: Nov. 5, 2016," 11/5/16

Al Masalah, “Security forces and popular crowd continue their operations in the battle to liberate Mosul,” 12/10/16

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Security recapture 8 Mosul villages, Hashd rescue 200 families," Iraqi News, 12/5/16
- "Update: Iraqi troops liberate 28 districts in eastern Mosul," Iraqi News, 12/9/16

New Sabah, "A break in the fight against terrorism as Qadisiyah neighborhood in Mosul is completely freed," 11/11/16

NINA, “Daesh Evacuate Families Of Wahda and Mithaq Regions of Mosul To The Right Coast And takes Them As Human Shields,” 12/9/16

Ryan, Missy and Shwan, Aaso Ameen, “After the Islamic State, Iraq at risk of a new battle for disputed territory,” Washington Post, 12/10/16

Rudaw, "Iraqi forces progress towars Tigris River," 12/10/16

Xinhua, "Iraqi forces recapture more districts from IS militants in Mosul," 12/10/16


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