No fighting has been reported in Mosul for the last few days but the Islamic State’s cells are still active. A car bomb went off in the western neighborhood of Bab al-Sinjar that left four dead and three wounded. These types of terrorist attacks will be the security challenge in the city for the coming weeks and months as IS attempts to scare the public and show that it is still active.
In the Maidan area of the Old City in west Mosul a mass grave was discovered with 60 bodies.
Around 40 of them were former policemen. All of them had been killed by the Islamic State with
some showing signs of torture and being shot in the head. 3,078 executions by the militants were
recorded during the battle for the city. They singled out members of the security forces fearing
that they might be working with the government.
A former general claimed that 120,000 IS fighters were killed and wounded in the Mosul campaign. General Wafiq al-Samarraie took the ISF’s claim that 30,000 insurgents died in the battle, and extrapolated that to 90,000 wounded for a total of 120,000. He went on to denigrate America’s estimate that there were only 3,000-5,000 IS. On July 19, the Joint Operations Command first reported that 30,000 fatality figure to the press. That was 5,000 more than General Abdul Amir Yarallah head of Ninewa We Are Coming command talked about on July 16. All of these were exaggerations, and part of the regular death inflation the Iraqis take part in after fighting concludes. The ISF likes to increase the numbers to make their victories appear more dramatic. In comparison, Iraqi Defense Minister predicted that there were only 9,400 IS elements dead and alive in Mosul in January 2017. To show how ridiculous General Samarraie’s claim was one only has to ask what happened to the 90,000 injured IS fighters. Did they escape to Tal Afar? Did they hide amongst the displaced? If either were true it would show how bad the Iraqi forces were at securing Mosul during and after the battle.
In the Sinjar district in west Ninewa another mass grave was uncovered. Six sites with bodies of Yazidis killed by the IS were found in areas that the Hashd freed a few weeks ago. When IS seized the district in the fall of 2014 it systematically attempted to wipe out the population by splitting the men from the women, executing the former and selling and enslaving the latter. The results of this genocide are still turning up in Sinjar.
The Iraqi forces are waiting for the orders to attack Tal Afar, while the air force is already carrying out operations. A Defense Ministry spokesman said that the operation had begun. Air strikes were underway, while the ground forces were waiting for their assault. Hashd spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi stated that they would participate in the operation. The Hashd surrounded the village months ago, but were not allowed to enter due to complaints from Turkey. Prime Minsiter Haider Abadi later claimed he gave the order to take the town, but the Hashd refused. The Hashd countered that the premier did not want them in Tal Afar, and sent them to the Syrian border instead. The Hashd are likely to be still be kept out and just do perimeter duties, while the army and police will be responsible for the town itself.
Baghdad Post, “Iraqi army starts operations to retake ISIS-held Tal Afar,” 7/24/17
- “Over 25,000 ISIS terrorists killed in battle for Mosul,” 7/16/17
Bas News, “Mass Grave Containing 60 Victims Found in Mosul,” 7/24/17
- “Six Mass Graves of Yezidis Found in Southern Sinjar,” 7/24/17
Buratha News, “Wafik al-Samarraie: Iraqi forces killed and wounded 120 thousand Daesh in Mosul and America expected only 5,000,” 7/25/17
Dolamari, Mewan, “Hashd al-Shaabi slams Turkey, says will participate in Tal Afar operation,” Kurdistan 24, 7/24/17
International Organization for Migration, “Displacement Tracking Matrix Emergency Tracking Mosul Operations Data Snapshot: 23 July 2017,” 7/23/17
Iraq Newspaper, “Iraqi Newspaper Reporter: After Abadi denied casualty figures the joint operations attached the number of victims in the battle of Mosul,” 7/19/17
Malik, Hamdi, “With IS on the way out, Iraqi power struggles pose major threat,” Al Monitor, 7/23/17
Mostafa, Nehal, "Policemen, among others, killed and injured in blast, western Mosul," Iraqi News, 7/24/17
New Sabah, “Military units waiting for zero hour to break into the Tal Afar district to free it from Daash,” 7/24/17
Omar, Oumayma, “The onerous cost of rebuilding the city of Mosul,” The Arab Weekly, 7/24/17
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update – 24 July 2017,” 7/24/17