Monday, April 17, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 181-182, Apr 15-16, 2017


The Golden Division was said to be finally assaulting the Old City, but that claimw as unclear. The unit was fighting in the Tanak neighborhood, which was declared freed on April 13, and in Thawra. There was also a report that the unit was pushing on the Fifth Bridge across the Tigris. The problem with that is the Golden Division is in the center and west of Mosul, and the Fifth Bridge is all the way on the other side of the city to the east. Also Tanak and Thawra have been fought over since the end of March, so the division has not entered any new areas yet. At the same time Iraqi propaganda often exaggerates progress so these may be new areas the unit was fighting over.

The police however were making a new push on the Old City. That was in the Bab al-Tob, Bab Sinjar, and Bab al-Jadid neighborhoods. Bab al-Tob was officially declared liberated on March 15. The Federal Police were said to now have control of the areas around the Grand Mosque, but those types of comments have been made before. Overall, he police moved 200 meters into the district. The tough defenses of the Islamic State, the narrow streets, and dense layout of the buildings have proven a major impediment to the Iraqi police. That caused a month long pause in operations as the Golden Division advanced up the center of the city to push up along the flank of the Old City. The police have now moved back on the offensive, but it is probably still a tough fight ahead.

There was another report of the Islamic State using chemical weapons in the battle for Mosul. An army officer claimed that chlorine filled mortar shells were fired at the Abar neighborhood in central west Mosul. 7 soldiers were injured as a result. Nearly every week there are similar stories. None have been confirmed, but IS has been known to use chlorine before.

Finally, there has been poor weather and heavy rains in Ninewa for the last several weeks. Two pontoon bridges across the Tigris River south of Mosul have been closed as a result. This has cut off Hamam al-Alil, which is the main security checkpoint for people fleeing Mosul. As a result trucks cannot bring in supplies to the town.

SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, “Iraq: IS launches chlorine gas attacks in western Mosul,” Associated Press, 2/15/17

Agence France Presse, “Iraq forces make Mosul gains, but anti-IS war far from over,” 2/15/17

Asia Satellite TV, “Troops of the anti-terrorism forces are advancing in the western axis and drone manufacturing officer has been killed in west Mosul,” 4/15/17

Baghdad Post, “Federal Police control Hadbaa Minaret vicinity in Mosul,” 4/16/17
- "Iraqi forces continue fights against ISIS in Mosul's Old City," 4/15/17
- “Security forces storm old city of Mosul,” 4/16/17

Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul: March 28, 2017," 3/29/17

Al Maalomah, “Nineveh Council: Security forces are approaching the liberation of the Grand Mosque in Mosul,” 4/15/17

Al Mada, “The joint forces control the western entrance of Mosul after two months of fighting,” 4/15/17
- “Mosul operations use “smart missiles” to neutralize civilian casualties and damaging buildings,” 4/15/17

Manisera, Sara, “Mosul civilians: ‘Who knows who was shooting?’” 4/16/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, “Mosuls’ strategic Old City under full Iraqi troops siege: command,” Iraqi News, 4/16/17

Mostafa, Nehal, “Flooding cuts off aid supplies, escape route from west Mosul,” Iraqi News, 4/16/17
- “Iraqi troops gain control on strategic regions in western Mosul,” Iraqi News, 4/16/17
- "Iraqi troops raid al-Thawra district, western Mosul," Iraqi News, 4/16/17

New Sabah, “The joint forces cordoned off the old neighborhoods of Mosul and were preparing to storm them,” 4/16/17
- “The Rapid Response Division destroyed Daesh headquarters in the Midan neighborhood in Mosul,” 4/15/17

NINA, “Anti-Terrorism Forces Advancing In The Western Axis, Kill Senior Official Of Daesh,” 4/15/17

Reuters, “Iraqi forces making new push toward Old City in Mosul,” 4/16/17

Sobir, Shoguna, “Iraqi Troops Drive Closer to Nuri Mosque in West Mosul,” Bas News, 4/16/17
- “Pontoon Bridges Over Tigris River in Mosul Unusable,” Bas News, 4/16/17

Xinhua, "Iraqi forces continue fighting IS militants in city center of western Mosul," 3/16/17
- “Iraqi forces push into old city of western Mosul amid fierce clashes,” 4/16/17
- "Iraqi forces recapture new neighborhood from IS militants," 4/14/17


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