The last few days have been slow for the Iraqi forces (ISF) inside west Mosul. The Golden Division recaptured the Rajim al-Hadid neighborhood that the Islamic State seized the day before. That was the first time the insurgents were able to take any territory in the Mosul battle. There was still fighting in Yarmouk in the west as well. The Golden Division claimed it had freed the area on March 22. Otherwise there were no advances reported. The ISF is now in control of roughly 60% of the western section of the city.
For the last two days the Islamic State has attempted to exploit the poor weather and go on the offensive. After temporarily holding Rajim al-Hadid it launched another attack upon the police in the Old City. This resulted in a three hour gun battle that left 10 ISF casualties and 30 IS deaths. The militants were also putting up their regular barrage of gunfire, rockets and mortars. That resulted in 2 police and 35 civilian fatalities. Many of the later were attempting to flee IS controlled areas and were gunned down as a result.
The Hashd were complaining about the American presence in Mosul again. A parliamentarian aligned with the Hashd said it wanted to question the prime minister about U.S. forces operating inside the city. A Hashd group also warned that the U.S. was trying to re-occupy Iraq and that it was ready to resist them. Every week pro-Iranian forces make some comment about the Americans helping the Iraqi government in the war. They often play upon the conspiracy theories that are prevalent throughout Iraqi society as well as resentment about the aftermath of the 2003 invasion. The goal is to discredit Washington and portray the Hashd and its allies in Iran as Iraq’s only defenders.
Good news came out of Ninewa province. The Oil Ministry announced that its workers had finally gotten control of the oil fires in Qayara, a town south of Mosul. When the Islamic State was forced out of the town last year it set fire to 18 wells. Those put out a huge amount of toxic smoke that will have a negative impact on the area for years. That nightmare is finally over.
Al Aaalem, "Video: Fierce battles on the right bank of Mosul and a bomb explosion against the security forces yesterday," 4/3/17
Baghdad Post, "Iraq's forces retook all of Yarmouk apartments area in Mosul," 3/22/17
Buratha News, “Learn about the latest developments in Mosul,” 4/2/17
Iraq Observatory for Human Rights, “ISIS Uses Children and People with Disabilities as Human Shields,” 3/31/17
Al Mada, “Crowd: We will question Abadi about the US presence in Mosul,” 4/3/17
- “Daesh exploits fog to attack the joint forces in the right bank of Mosul,” 4/3/17
Mustafa, Nehal, "IS kills 13 civilians in western Mosul: Police," Iraqi News, 4/2/17
New Sabah, “The Joint Forces are preparing to break into the Nuri Mosque and the Hadbaa Lighthouse in West Mosul,” 4/2/17
Rudaw, “At least, burning Qayyarah oil wells brought under control,” 4/2/17
Shafaaq News, "Daash kills a man and his son as they try to flee west Mosul," 4/2/17
- “Elite forces expelled Dash a day after its incursion into Mosul neighborhood,” 4/2/17
- “Iraqi forces advance in old Mosul and two neighborhoods on the right bank of Mosul,” 4/2/17
- “Iraqi Hezbollah threatens the US military,” 4/2/17
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update – 2 April 2017,” 4/2/17
World Bulletin, "16 civilians found dead in Mosul's Old City," 4/2/17