Friday, November 25, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day 39, Nov 24, 2016

The 9th and Golden Divisions were still churning through eastern Mosul. On November 24 the Zuhur and Kadrah neighborhoods were freed. Zuhur was originally attacked on November 20, while this was the fifth time Kadrah was declared liberated. Some of the division was also being taken off the line and replaced with a new battalion. The Iraqi forces have issued no casualties, but the unit has faced the brunt of the fighting in Mosul and likely has taken a lot of losses.

So far the Iraqi forces have reached 36 neighborhoods in eastern Mosul. Of those, 7 have been freed and appear to be under control. 17 have been liberated multiple times and look like they are still contested. 12 have been attacked at least once.

The U.S.-led Coalition finished off Mosul’s bridges. The city is bisected by the Tigris River, which has five spans across it. The last bridge was blown up in an air strike.

The New York Times ran a piece about how the civilians in Mosul are complicating the battle. The government dropped leaflets telling people to stay in their homes. There was no real choice in that matter as the government and aid agencies had no way to take care of the population if it did try to leave. The article also mentioned that the military planners did not want to level the city as happened in Ramadi. Those residents are now a major impediment to the fight. The Iraqi forces can’t use their artillery and air strikes as much as they want out of fear of collateral damage, and the Islamic State is also using civilians as human shields and to re-infiltrate areas.

In the west the Iraqi forces rather than the Hashd will take Tal Afar. A spokesman for Asaib Ahl Al-Haq said that the Hashd was ready to take the town, but another spokesman added that was not possible for political reasons. Besides Turkey, which has been very vociferous on the issue, the Iraqi Turkmen Front also stated that the Hashd should stay out of Tal Afar because they would set off sectarian tensions. That issue should now be resolved as the army is to move in.

Kurdish President Massoud Barzani commented on the disputed areas in Ninewa once again. All the territory taken by the Peshmerga before the Mosul campaign would remain under Kurdish control he said, but the area liberated since then by the Kurds would be up for negotiation. The U.S. helped negotiate a deal between Baghdad and Irbil so that they would cooperate in the offensive, which included the Kurds giving up any land they took. Since then Barzani and other Kurds have said they would keep everything, but now the president is trying to back down from those statements.

Finally, the number of displaced has leveled off. The International Organization for Migration reported that from November 20-24 68,000 have left their homes and registered with the authorities. On November 19 there were 61,674 displaced. That went up to 68,520 on November 20, and has stayed around that level since then with 68,660 on November 21, 68,112 on November 22, 68,340 on November 23, and 68,964 on November 24. Another 7,116 people have gone back to their homes in areas that have been liberated.


Adel, Loaa, "Joint forces continue liberating 6 areas in western coast of Mosul," Iraqi News, 11/17/16

Arango, Tim, “Iraq Told Civilians to Stay in Mosul. Now They’re Paying With Their Lives,” New York Times, 11/24/16

Bas News, “Barzani: Peshmerga Won’t Retreat from Pre-October 17 Libearted Areas,” 11/24/16
- “Iraqi Turkmen Front Warns against Militia’s Incursion into Tel Afar,” 11/24/16

International Organization for Migration, “Displacement Tracking Matrix Emergency Tracking Factshhet 4# - Mosul Operations From 17 october to 24 November,” 11/24/16

Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul: Nov. 1, 2016," 11/1/16
- "Inside Mosul: Nov. 12, 2016," 11/12/16

Al Maalomah, “Asadi confirms that the popular crowd will not enter Tal Afar because of political pressure,” 11/24/16
- “Popular crowd declares readiness of its troops to storm the center of Tal Afar,” 11/24/16

Mostafa, Mohamed, “Airstrikes destroy last bridge linking Mosul’s west, east,” Iraqi News, 11/24/16
- "Zohour, Shoqaq Khadraa neighborhoods of Mosul recaptured: source," Iraqi News, 11/24/16

Rudaw, “Fresh troops relieve soldiers from three weeks of intense battle in Mosul,” 11/24/16
- "ISIS leader among militants killed in Mosul district," 11/20/16
- “Shiite forces poised on edge of Tal Afar, won’t enter city, spokesman says,” 11/24/16

Xinhua, "Iraqi forces clear areas freed from IS in eastern Mosul," 11/9/16
- "Iraqi forces free more districts in eastern Mosul," 11/4/16

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