Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 121, Feb 14, 2017

The Islamic State launched more attacks upon liberated east Mosul. 24 IS fighters who crossed the Tigris River into southeast Mosul at night were stopped by members of the Golden Division, and were eventually killed after a gun battle. Mortar fire killed 1 civilian and wounded 2 more. The government has been forming local Hashd groups to help secure the city. A commander of one such unit told Voice of America that the insurgents were attempting river attacks almost every night. The same report quoted a soldier who said drone strikes were wounding up to 20 people per day. Surveillance drones were also constantly flying over the city trying to sport targets for mortar fire. There is still the threat of sleeper cells as well. East Mosul remains insecure as a result of these constant attacks.

Adding to the problem is unprofessionalism by some Iraqi forces (ISF). Shafaaq News for instance reported that men in military uniforms and riding in a military vehicle robbed a car store in east Mosul. Army and Federal Police have also been accused of looting and burning homes, and committing some abuses in the city as well.

The insurgents launched another large attack in the Tal Afar district west of Mosul. The town of Tal Abta was assaulted again, with 11 car bombs reportedly destroyed.

IS continued to destroy property in areas under its control. It blew up the Federal Court of Appeal building in west Mosul, and 15 houses belonging to police officers in the town of Badush. The Islamists have carried out a mini-scorched earth policy since the start of the Battle for Mosul in October. February 12 the militants launched a three-pronged attack the Hashd claimed was the biggest they had seen so far. They said that IS fighters were trying to flee to Syria. They were actually probably trying to break the siege of Baaj where many of their commanders are holding up.

A commander from the Golden Division General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi claimed that the attack on west Mosul was just waiting for good weather. The general stated that rainy and cold weather was holding up the operation, which would have started already if conditions had been better.

Reuters had a good report on the economic impact of Islamic State rule on Ninewa. It talked with farmers who had their business destroyed under two years of IS control. They believe it could take years to rebuild their farms. They need seeds, fertilizer, fuel, electricity, equipment, irrigation, etc. all to rebuild. There are also damaged fields and IEDs to deal with. The government and the United Nations have started programs to try to help Ninewa’s agriculture, but it appears it will be a long process for the province to return to being the breadbasket of the country.


Adel, Loaa, "IS detonates houses of 15 former policemen, arrests 10 civilians in Mosul," Iraqi News, 2/14/17
- "Security forces kill 24 IS members after sneaking into eastern Mosul," Iraqi News, 2/14/17

Buratha News, “Recent developments in the field during Ninewa We Are Coming operation until 15:00 Tuesday 14 02 2017,” 2/14/17

Al Forat, “Anti-terrorism forces wait for improved weather to attack west Mosul,” 2/14/17

Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul: Feb. 13, 2017,” 2/14/17

Al Maalomah, "The death of one civilian and wounding two others in Daesh shelling East Mosul," 2/14/17
- "Talabawi: the popular crowd repelled a great Daesh attack on Tal Abta and destroyed 11 car bombs,' 2/14/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, “Exclusive: After Islamic State defeat, broken Iraqi farmers weigh heavy losses,” Iraqi News, 2/14/17

Murdock, Heather, “Mosul Illusion Shattered After Militant Attacks,” Voice of America, 2/13/17

New Sabah, “Anti-Terrorism forces repel a Daesh attack across the river to the southeast of Mosul,” 2/14/17

Shafaaq News, "Gunmen disguised in military uniforms rob a car shop owner in east Mosul," 2/14/17
- "Urgent..Daesh blow up the Federal Court building in Mosul," 2/14/17

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