Friday, April 21, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 186, Apr 20, 2017


April 19 Iraqi police claimed they had liberated 30-40% of the Old City. Newest map shows no changes in district. Bulge on left was recent 200m advance police made April 16, otherwise no movement in south for over month now (Ninewa Media Center)

The Golden Division was still advancing in the center of west Mosul. The Nasr neighborhood was declared freed, and there was fighting in Haramat, Siha, and Tanak. The unit has been making steady progress in the middle and western section of the city.


Yesterday the Iraqi police claimed they had taken 30-40% of the Old City district in the east along the Tigris River. Today the Ninewa Media Center released its daily map of west Mosul and showed no progress has been made. April 16, the Federal Police made a 200 meter surge in the flank of the district, but there has been no movement in the south. The Iraqi forces often exaggerate about the pace of the war, and this was another example.

Rebuilding Iraqi society and repairing the damage that the Islamic State has done will be a long and difficult task. Reuters had a story on suspicious murders going on in Qayara south of Mosul. Bodies have been turning up in the Tigris River by the town. Some were blind folded pointing to executions. The security forces claim it is the work of the Islamic State, but residents are afraid they are revenge killings against those affiliated with IS. Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Christian militias in the Ninewa plains were stopping displaced families from returning. One man was told his town was not safe yet. Others were warned not to come back because they were IS sympathizers. Stars and Stripes interviewed Ninewa Operations commander General Najm al-Jabouri who believed reconstruction, jobs, re-education, and reconciliation were all needed in Ninewa after Mosul is liberated. The insurgents have deeply upset the fabric of Iraqi society. Without those wounds being healed they could continue to fester and lead to future problems.

The provincial Ninewa police opened its headquarters in east Mosul. This was another step towards the security forces re-establishing themselves in the governorate.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan decided to insert himself into the Mosul campaign once again. While making statements against Iranian influence in the Middle East he accused Tehran of expanding into Iraq using the Hashd, and that those forces threatened the Turkmen people of Tal Afar. As could be expected, this led to a series of harsh condemnations by Iraqi officials, and an official response from Baghdad.

Speaking of Tal Afar, Asaib Ahl Al-Haq’s Jawad Talabawi said that because of international pressure blocking the Hashd from taking the town those forces would now move west towards the Syrian border and take areas like the Baaj district. Any Tal Afar operation has been put on hold until Mosul is liberated. Part of that is because of Turkish objections to the Hashd being involved. Moving west might be the best thing for them as they are doing little in the Tal Afar district, and Baaj is a suspected base for IS elements that fled Mosul.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq forces retake more areas in west Mosul,” 4/20/17

Coles, Isabel, “As bodies wash up from the Tigris, some see signs of score-settling,” Reuters, 4/20/17

Garland, Chad, “As Mosul offensive nears final stages, what comes next may be more complex,” Stars and Stripes, 4/20/17

Hassan, Rawchi, “Security is fine, but we have no jobs, say east Mosul residents,” Rudaw, 4/20/17

Al Jazeera, "Iraqi forces 'make further gains' against ISIL in Mosul," 4/20/17

Al Masalah, “Erdogan attacks the popular crowd and accuses Iran of forming a Persian power,” 4/20/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Iraqi forces recapture western Mosul district, advance in others," Iraqi News, 4/20/17
- “Newspaper: Christian militias stonewall repatriation of Nineveh refugees,” Iraqi News, 4/20/17

Mostafa, Nehal, “Iraqi troops retakes another district in western Mosul,” Iraqi news, 4/20/17

Munoz, Carlo, “Unrelenting Islamic State fighters make endgame in Mosul frustratingly tough and bloody,” Washington Times, 4/19/17

NINA, "Security Forces Enter Haramat Area Of Mosul's Right Side," 4/19/17
Xinhua, “High water levels worsening humanitarian crisis in Mosul, UN agency says,” 4/20/17
- “Iraqi forces free new neighborhood from IS militants in western Mosul,” 4/20/17

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

Shafaaq News, “Ninewa police headquarters opened in Mosul,” 4/20/17

Al Sumaria, “Popular crowd leader: districts of Baaj, Hadari and Kairoun are our next destination,” 4/20/17


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