Monday, October 24, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day Seven, Oct 23, 2016


Day seven of the Mosul operation was dominated by the Kurdish push from the north towards Bashiqa. Turkey also finally got involved over the objections of the Iraqi government. The Qayara air base south of Mosul opened, and the Islamic State continued with its destruction of parts of Mosul.
(Guardian)

On October 22, the Iraqi forces freed a total of 15 towns. Those were to the south and east of Mosul led by the 9th, 15th and 16th Army Divisions and the Federal Police.

On October 23 the Peshmerga and Federal Police were both active. First, the Kurds surrounded the town of Bashiqa and several others in the district, which is to the northeast of Mosul. This operation was started on October 20, but stalled due to determined counter attacks by the Islamic State. On the 23rd the Kurds renewed their effort and reached their goal. There were some reports that Bashiqa had actually been taken, but the last report of the day said that it was only encircled. The Peshmerga also seized control of the Bashiqa-Mosul road and three towns. In the south, the Federal Police liberated three towns. Three Kurdish doctors were killed during the week along with two soldiers, and two others wounded on the 23rd.

Turkey joined in the Mosul operation for the first time. It fired artillery into the Bashiqa district. The Turks claimed they were supporting the Kurdish effort, but that was disputed. What was not in argument was that this as against the direct consent of the Iraqi government. Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has continuously rejected Ankara playing any role in Mosul, and the situation only escalated after President Erdogan insulted the Iraqi premier. The artillery fire may be just a way to anger Baghdad even more.

The Qayara air base south of Mosul was finally repaired and became operational. The base was seized several weeks ago, and the United States has been working on it ever since. As soon as the work finished planes began landing there delivering supplies for the Iraqi forces. Its role as a logistics hub, so close to the front will be crucial in keeping the pace of the campaign going.

Within Mosul the Islamic State continued to show signs of victory and defeat. First, the group claimed that its attack upon Kirkuk city was a great victory. At the same time it continued to pull its families and members out of the eastern side of the city into the west. Finally, it continued to blow up notable landmarks. On the 22nd it destroyed the Mosul train station. It appears that the group knows that its time is ending in the city, but it wants to take parts of it down with it, while claiming that it will ultimately win despite this setback.

Previous Reports


SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim and Krauss, Joseph, "Iraqi Forces Advance Near Mosul as IS Attacks Western Town," Associated Press, 10/23/16

ARA News, "Peshmerga forces break through ISIS defense lines, surround Bashiqa town," 10/23/16

Bas News, "Peshmerga liberates 3 Villages in Northern Mosul," 10/23/16

BBC, “Mosul offensive: Turkish and Kurdish forces launch attacks on IS,” 10/23/16

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - October 23, 2016," 10/23/16
-"Iraqi Kurds say they retake Christian town of Bashiqa near Mosul," 10/23/16

Al Forat, "Freed new villages and destroyed two Daesh tunnels south of Mosul," 10/23/16
- "Freed village of Tal Skul south of Mosul and raised the Iraqi flag above it," 10/23/16

Iraqi News, "Anti-Terrorism forces repulse ISIS attack near Mosul," 10/23/16

Al Maalomah, "After hours of freeing Qaraqosh foiled four suicide bomb attacks," 10/23/16

NINA, “Daesh Blows Up Mosul Train Station,” 10/22/16

Osgood, Patrick, “Peshmerga complete northern offensive,” Iraq Oil Report, 10/24/16

Rudaw, "MOSUL OFFENSIVE DAY 7: Live Updates," 10/23/16

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