Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day 57, Dec 12, 2016


Parts of east Mosul remain contested. The Golden Division announced that it had liberated Noor. It claimed the same thing a week ago. A member of the Ninewa Council said that 70% of east Mosul had been freed so far. That was an exaggeration. The Iraqi forces (ISF) have entered around 60 neighborhoods in east Mosul, which is roughly 40% of the Left Coast of the city. Half of those areas continue to change hands with the militants. Despite these problems more and more parts of the city are being entered.

The Hashd were going through the area between the Tal Afar airport and Tal Abta. Four more towns were freed in that area. They were also trying to hold the major roads to Mosul in the east and Syria to the west. It will be doing this for the foreseeable future since the army and police are not making any effort to take Tal Afar, and the Hashd will have to stay in place until that happens.

Prime Minister Haidar Abadi visited the Ninewa Operations Command. He noted that the campaign was ahead of schedule and criticized those that spoke badly about it. Part of the reason why things have moved ahead so fast was that Abadi ordered the Golden Division to move into east Mosul unsupported by other units and before the city was encircled. Some army and Golden Division officers have criticized that decision since it allowed the Islamic State to focus all of its forces onto the east.

The Iraqi forces have stated that the plan for Mosul has changed. Part of that is the shifting of police units from the south, which is stalled outside the city to the east. Three brigades of the 5th Federal Police Division have moved from the southeast to the town of Qaraqosh about 15 km outside of Mosul. The commander of the Federal Police told the press that his forces were waiting for some more advances inside Mosul before they entered the fray. They will likely being doing hold and clear operations behind the Golden and 9th Divisions. The southern front has barely moved for weeks now and has not even reached Mosul. Since that area is stalled forces can be repositioned to help with where the fighting is going on in eastern Mosul.

The Associated Press visited a hospital in east Mosul. It was running low on supplies and estimated that it had treated around 800 wounded since the start of November. There are several medical facilities like this inside the city and in Irbil, which have been completely overwhelmed by the casualties generated by the battle. The ones in Mosul are worse off because they can’t keep up with demand nor resupply their stocks.

The Iraqi Turkmen Front has been trying to mediate between Baghdad and Ankara. A delegation from the party recently visited Turkey and met with the Turkish Prime Minister. Turkey has constantly criticized the Mosul operation and demanded that it be involved to the consternation of the Abadi government. It’s unlikely that the Front can do much to repair this relationship as the two countries are diametrically opposed to each other on this issue.

The number of displaced has passed the 90,000 mark. On December 9 the International Organization for Migration reported that there were 82,698 registered displaced people. By December 11 that had risen to 90,162 according to the United Nations. 85% of those are from the Mosul district, mostly from the surrounding towns. A few thousand people have gone back to their homes. On December 10 for example, approximately 990 went back to the villages east and south of Mosul. That same day the Ministry of Displacement said that returns were happening in Nimrod, Hamam al-Alil, and Qayara south of the city. The huge wave that of displaced many aid groups feared has not materialized, but it is about to reach the 1 million mark and will likely continue to climb slowly but surely.

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, “Iraqi police say ready to join assault on east Mosul,” Iraqi News, 12/12/16

Al Alam, "VID: Heavy Defeat and High Casualties of ISIS in Mosul's Al Noor Districts," 12/12/16

Bas News, “70% of Eastern Mosul Cleared from IS: Official,” 12/12/16
- "Iraqi Forces Retake Two More Neighborhoods Eastern Mosul," 12/6/16

Buratha News, "Recent developments in the field until 13:00 Monday 12 12 2016," 12/12/16

Al Forat, "Freed region of Tal Aska northwest of Tal Abta," 12/12/16
- "Freed village of Abu Hadbaan north west of Mosul," 12/12/16

George, Susannah, “Mosul Doctors Struggle to Save Children on Iraq Front Line,” Associated Press, 12/12/16

Face Iraq, “Calls to rescue people trapped inside Mosul being used as human shields by Daesh terrorists – report,” 12/12/16

Iraq News Network, “Turkmen Front: serious dialogue between Iraq and Turkey aimed at convergence of views,” 12/12/16

Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul, Dec. 12, 2016,” 12/12/16

Al Masalah, “Popular Mobilization Forces killed 25 terrorists and maintained its lead west of Mosul,” 12/12/16

Rasheed, Ahmed and Evans, Dominic, “Iraqi police say ready to join assault on east Mosul,” 12/12/16

Rudaw, “Abadi: Mosul op proceeding faster than expected,” 12/12/16

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “Iraq Situation: Flash Update – 11 December 2016,” 12/11/16

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