Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mosul Campaign Day 54, Dec 9, 2016

The Golden Division continued to make slow but steady progress in east Mosul. Adil, Tamim, and Alam for the second time were freed. Three other areas were also recaptured from the Islamic State. There was continued fighting in Noor, that was freed two days ago, and Wahda, which witnessed the ambush of elements of the 9th Division a few days ago.

The rest of the Iraqi forces were mostly clearing areas. The Federal Police in the southwest, the 9th Division in the southeast, and the Hashd in the west were all going through buildings and roads looking for Islamic State fighters and IEDs to defuse. The Iraqi forces just said they had cleared the entire southern front, but that apparently was another exaggeration. Hunting down unexploded ordinance and searching for IS members has been one of the reasons why the Mosul campaign outside of the eastern front has been stalled for so long.

The taking of Tal Afar appears up in the air as well. The Hashd reached the district in the middle of November. Those forces originally said they would take the town, but due to political objections Baghdad made an agreement with Turkey to have the army and Federal police do it instead. That has not happened yet. In the meantime members of the Iraqi Turkmen Front travelled to Turkey and met with President Recep Erdogan and jointly called for a Turkmen force to free the town. The Turkmen Front has been an ally of Ankara for years now, and Erdogan has used it to justify its intervention in Iraq’s domestic politics. The party no longer holds as much sway as it once did because the sectarian war split the community between Sunnis and Shiites and armed groups moved into the ascendency. If a Shiite Turkmen force were to move into Tal Afar for example, it would garner strong objections from the Front and its Turkish sponsors. Overall, the meeting and statement was just another attempt by Erdogan to put pressure on Baghdad and exert Turkey’s influence in Ninewa.

Several Iraqi intelligence officers spoke with the Associated Press. They told AP they wanted a slower approach to taking Mosul to allow for targeted strikes to take out IS leaders. Instead the pace was much quicker and the officers complained that most top ranking IS members got out of the city in October. More importantly the intelligence agents said that Iraq had plans to attack IS in Syria after the insurgents were defeated in Iraq.

Finally, the number of displaced took a slight dip. The International Organization for Migration reported that there were 82,698 displaced in Ninewa, down from 83,988 the day before. It said the reason for the decline was a more thorough vetting of those registered. Still even with the lower figure the number of people fleeing their homes has taken another decided jump. On December 2 there were 77,826 displaced meaning there has been a 4,872 increase in just a week’s time. More people continue to leave the battle zone. For example, the 16th Division noted that around 200 families evacuated the Hadbaa neighborhood in the north for the Iraqi lines. As the ISF pushes further into Mosul more people are likely to join the displaced.


AIN, “Results of operations Ninewa We Are Coming on Friday,” 12/9/16
- "Urgent freed neighborhoods of Adil, Alam and Tamim on the left coast of the city," 12/9/16

Al Alam, "VIDEO: 3 Districts Near Mosul Freed, Fierce Clashes in Al Salam District," 12/9/16

Bas News, "Iraqi Forces Retake Two More Neighborhoods Eastern Mosul," 12/6/16

eKurd, “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – December 9, 2016,” 12/9/16

Hendawi, Hamza and Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, “Iraq Prepares for New Fight Against Post-Mosul IS,” Associated Press, 12/9/16

International Organization for Migration, “Displacement Tracking Matrix Emergency Tracking Factsheet 6# - Mosul Operations From 17 October To 8 December,” 12/8/16

Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul, Nov. 21, 2016," 11/21/16

Al Mada, “Evacuation of 200 families from central Mosul while security forces arrested Daesh members hiding amongst them,” 12/9/16

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Iraqi forces partially retake al-Aalam district at eastern Mosul," Iraqi News, 12/6/16
- "Update: Iraqi troops liberate 28 districts in eastern Mosul," Iraqi News, 12/9/16

NINA, "Anti-Terrorism Forces Storm 3 Residential Neighborhoods In Mosul, kill 16 Terrorists," 11/30/16
- "Iraqi forces killed a suicide bomber from Daesh and stormed three new residential neighborhoods east of Mosul," 12/3/16

Rudaw, "ISIS deploy car bombs against advancing Iraqi forces in eastern Mosul," 12/9/16

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