Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day 51, Dec 6, 2016

There was fighting across eastern Mosul, while the Iraqi forces (ISF) reached new areas of the city. Starting at 6 am air strikes hit southeast Mosul paving the way for the 9th Division to move forward into the Wahda and Mithaq neighborhoods. By the end of the day the Salam Hospital had been reached. Wahda was originally reached on November 30, while Mithaq was new. The goal of this thrust was to reach the Tigris River and the Fourth Bridge that spans it. There were also clashes in Noor, originally penetrated on November 6, Shaimaa, Dumiz, Barid, liberated before, Masarif, freed twice, and Qadisiya. The papers didn’t say whether it was Qadisiya 1, which has been freed twice or Qadisiya 2, which was freed once. Shaimaa and Dumiz were just breached. Aalam, the 53rd neighborhood reached, and Shuhada, originally attacked on November 30 were both freed. Four areas in southern Mosul were shelled for the second day. The Iraqi command said that a revision in the overall campaign is coming. Hopefully this is the start of a new move by the rest of the 9th Division and the Federal Police aimed at the Mosul airport, which was supposed to be breached a month ago. The southern and northern fronts have been stalled for weeks now due to a combination of exhaustion, Islamic State resistance, and the lack of supporting forces to hold the areas they already took. That has left all the fighting to the Golden Division, along with elements of the 9th Divisions, and another brigade.

In the west, the Hashd took Tal Abta. The Hashd reached the Tal Afar district in the middle of November and have since surrounded the town of the same name. The 16th Division and Federal Police are supposed to take the town itself. That hasn’t materialized yet leaving the Hashd to move into the surrounding villages.

The humanitarian crisis within Mosul continues. A Rudaw reporter was in the Barid neighborhood and found families huddling together trying to escape the fighting. In one house for example, there were 70 people. There are continued shortages of essentials such as fuel for cooking and water. All the shops have closed in the eastern half of the city, and the Islamic State is no longer distributing goods to that area either. The military and non-governmental organizations are trying to truck in water to some areas. Aid groups are worried that these situations will only get worse as the battle to take the city drags on.

The Ishtar satellite channel followed Christians visiting several towns in the Ninewa plains. They found cemeteries and shrines destroyed and defaced. In the town of Karemlash, the Islamic State dug up the grave of Saint Addai the Apostle Church. IS originally claimed that Christians could live in its caliphate as long as they paid religious taxes or converted, but the reality quickly sunk in that they would be targeted leading most of the community to flee.

The United Nations and International Organization for Migration (IOM) had new information on the displacement caused by the Mosul operation. The number of registered displaced took another jump. At the end of November there were 76,464, which went up to 82,068 by December 6. Another 8,000 have returned to their homes, mostly in Nimrod and east Mosul. Winter is upon Iraq and aid groups and most of the displaced are living in camps, which are not prepared to deal with freezing temperatures and rain. This is another pending crisis organizations are worried about.

The U.N. also provided some more insight into casualties. It said that 1,246 injured people had been treated at Irbil hospitals since the battle for Mosul started on November 17. One facility in east Mosul sees up to 1,000 people a day injured in the fighting. This has totally overwhelmed the health groups.


Adel, Loaa, "Joint forces continue liberating 6 areas in western coast of Mosul," Iraqi News, 11/17/16
- “Photos: Destruction of Christian graves on hands of ISIS,” Iraqi News, 12/6/16
- "Photos: ISIS beheads 2 Shia Soldiers near Tal Afar," Iraqi News, 12/6/16

Al Alam, "Iraqi Forces Establish Control over Key Hospital in Western Mosul," 12/6/16

George, Susannah and Salaheddin, Sinan, “Iraq launches new push in southeast Mosul,” Associated Press, 12/6/16

International Organization for Migration, “IOM Iraq Emergency Tracking: Mosul Operations DATA SNAPSHOT: 6 December 2016,” 12/6/16

Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul: Nov. 6, 2016," 11/6/16
- "Inside Mosul, Nov. 25, 2016," 11/25/16
- "Inside Mosul, Nov. 30, 2016," 11/30/16
- "Inside Mosul, Dec. 6, 2016," 12/6/16

Al Masalah, "Freed two areas east Mosul and killed 19 Daash," 12/6/16

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Al-Hashd al-Shaabi liberate Tal Abta in western Mosul," Iraqi News, 12/6/16
- "Iraqi army engages in ferocious fights with ISIS east of Mosul," Iraqi News, 12/6/16
- "Iraqi forces partially retake al-Aaalam district at eastern Mosul," Iraqi News, 12/6/16

New Sabah, "A break in the fight against terrorism as Qadisiyah neighborhood in Mosul is completely freed," 11/11/16

NINA, "Anti-Terrorism Forces Storm 3 Residential Neighborhoods In Mosul, kill 16 Terrorists," 11/30/16

Rasheed, Ahmed and Markey, Patrick, “Iraqi army launches fresh assault towards Mosul center,” Reuters, 12/6/16

Rudaw, "Army says three more Mosul neighborhoods taken from ISIS," 11/30/16
- "Civilians shelter in place under heavy clashes in Mosul's northeast," 12/6/16

Shafaq News, "Urgent anti-terrorism forces attack the martyrs neighborhood," 11/30/16

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report #10 (28 November – 4 December 2016),” 12/4/16

Xinhua, "Iraqi forces gain ground, fight heavy clashes with IS militants in Mosul," 11/29/16

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