The Iraqi Forces (ISF) are trying to clear the last neighborhoods in northeast Mosul. Arabi was official declared freed on January 20. Hurra was also liberated along with a pharmaceutical factory. Rashidiya, the last major area held by IS was assaulted. That is a large district with many residential neighborhoods.
|(Institute for the Study of War)|
The ISF are already planning to attack west Mosul. The American supplied pontoon bridges arrived in the city. It appears the Iraqi commanders want to launch the assault as soon as possible so they may just focus upon a river crossing.
There were more stories on the problems within the Islamic State. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi allegedly ordered an official retreat from east Mosul. Iraq Oil Report was told that Iraqi fighters were fleeing east Mosul and leaving the foreign fighters behind. There were disagreements and even clashes between the two. People in the Andalus neighborhood in northeast Mosul said that there were teen fighters amongst the ranks of IS. The organization recently released a video of it recruiting youngsters. The group is facing food shortages in west Mosul, and hunting down deserters, confiscating their property and burning their homes in west Mosul. The group’s defenses collapsed in east Mosul. It is yet to be seen whether these issues will carry over to the west and lead to a relatively quick victory compared to the east.
Al Mada talked with the mayor of Mosul Hussein Hajim who gave his estimates for what the battle had done to east Mosul. He speculated that 100% of police stations, 90% of the roads, 60% of government buildings, 30% of schools, and 15% of residential homes suffered some type of damage. Aden and Karama were the most affected by the fighting. This will take a huge effort to rebuild, and the government may not be up to the task right now due to its lack of money. Reconstruction in Anbar’s cities has been slow going. Given Mosul’s size it will likely take even longer there.
Finally, Ali Nabhan at the Wall Street Journal wrote a touching article about how he was cut off from his best friend Omar who lived in Mosul for two years. The two knew each other from college at Mosul University before the U.S. invasion. They were able to reconnect in October 2016 via cellphone at first, and then in person inside the city itself.
Al Alam, "Iraqi Army Forces Recapture more Areas from Daesh in Mosul," 1/20/17
Buratha News, “Recent developments in the field in the process of liberating Mosul until 13:55 pm Friday, 20 01 2017,” 1/20/17
Hemid, Leyla, “Baghdadi Orders Evacuation of IS Militants in East Mosul,” Bas News, 1/20/17
MacDiarmid, Campbell, “Isis fighters flee western Mosul by boat leaving streets littered with bodies and blood,” International Business times, 1/20/17
Al Mada, “Army frees pharmaceutical plant in northern Mosul,” 1/20/17
- “Federal Police: 974 members of Daesh killed left coast Mosul,” 1/20/17
- “Left Coast battles destroyed 90% of the streets and 60% of government buildings,” 1/20/17
Nabhan, Ali, “How I Reunited With My Best Friend in a Liberated Mosul,” Wall Street Journal, 1/20/17
New Sabah, “Daesh burned homes of fleeing members in Mosul,” 1/20/17
- “Freed first Arab neighborhood north left coast of Mosul,” 1/20/17
Rudaw, “UPDATE: Iraqi army liberates major district in north of Mosul,” 1/20/17
Tahir, Rawaz, Osgood, Patrick, “Iraqi forces consolidate gains in half-liberated Mosul,” Iraq Oil Report, 1/20/17