Monday, June 26, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 252 Jun 25 2017


Last two days various ISF sources have claimed 50-99% of Old City is freed none of which are supported by latest government map of progress in Old City.  (Ninewa Media Cell)

Smoke hangs in sky from surprise attack by IS in liberated Tanak neighborhood while civilians attempt to flee (Iraq Newspaper)

The Iraqi forces (ISF) predicted that they would have all of Mosul liberated by June 25 the start of Eid. Without having achieved that it made a series of exaggerated propaganda releases. First, a lieutenant colonel from the Golden Division claimed that 65-70% of the Old City was under government control. Then the Joint Operations Command announced that the Islamic State only held 1% of the district. That might have been a mistranslation meaning only 1% of west Mosul, but you can never tell with Iraqi statements. None of these claims were supported by the latest map released by the government, which shows little progress over the last few days.

The ISF remained fighting over several neighborhoods, some it claimed to have freed. To the north of the Old City, the Rapid Reaction Division has been caught up trying to take the Republican Hospital and a few other buildings in the medical complex of Shifa. That area was said to be cleared three times before, and was originally entered at the end of May. In the Old City, the Golden Division and Federal Police were still attempting to seize Farouq in the center of the district from two directions. Towards the south, the Golden Division said it was anywhere from 25-50 meters away from the Nouri Mosque, which the Islamic State just destroyed. There were continued clashes in Khazraj and Bab al-Baid, both of which the ISF said it liberated, as well as Ras al-Jadah, and Bab al-Jadid. The Joint Operations Command stated that IS was down to just six neighborhoods, but the continued fighting would put the figure at a few more than that. In the last week, the ISF were able to make two large thrusts into the center of the Old City, after that however it has been tough going with few advances since then.

The Islamic State has been counterattacking in liberated areas of Mosul. Small groups of IS fighters attacked the Tanak and Yarmouk neighborhoods in the western section of west Mosul. It caused general confusion and panic amongst the population, many of which attempted to flee. The Golden Division arrived in the area, imposed a curfew and tried to get citizens to return to their homes, while hunting down the insurgents. This came after a suicide bomber set off his device amongst displaced on June 24, and 5 suicide bombings hit both eastern and western sections of the city, along with three car bombs being discovered and dismantled in a market in the east on June 23. The security forces have been talking about IS sleeper cells being in liberated parts of the city, and they now appear to be coming to life.

Reuters reported on people celebrating Eid, the end of Ramadan, in the liberated areas of Mosul. While many children were seen playing and having fun, their parents were being more reflective. Some were sad that they were displaced within the city and had not returned to their homes. Others were afraid of IS elements in the city, highlighted by the two days of attacks in freed parts of Mosul. Their thoughts and actions reflected the conflicted circumstances people are currently facing. Life is returning, but there are many difficulties from the continued fighting, to IS terrorism, to destroyed homes, to people cleaning up their neighborhoods. This will continue for the foreseeable future.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Two thirds of Mosul Old City retaken from IS: commander,” 6/25/17

Baghdad Post, “Security forces shell what is left of Mosul’s Old City,” 6/25/17

Al Ghad Press, "Violent clashes between Daash and anti-terrorism forces in Al-Tanak neighborhood and Taqeed market in Mosul," 6/25/17

Iraq Newspapers, “Iraq Newspaper Reporter In Mosul: Daash Terrorists Claim New Attacks In Bab al-Baid And Shifa,” 6/25/17
- “Iraqi Newspaper Reporter In Mosul: Displacement Of Residents Of Al-Tanka District,” 6/25/17
- “Iraqi Newspaper Reporter In Mosul: Daash Terrorists Claim To Take Control Of Al-Tanak And Yarmouk Districts,” 6/25/17
- “Iraqi Newspaper Reporter In Mosul: Fierce Battles In Tanak Yarmouk and Rajam Al Hadeed And Slaughter Of Civilians In Mushat Market,” 6/25/17

Marjani, Alaa, “Mosul celebrates first Eid without Islamic State in years,” Reuters, 6/25/17

NINA, "Army and Popular Mobilization Forces Thwart 3 Car Bombs In Mosul's Left Side," 6/24/17

Reuters, “Iraqi forces say major Islamic State attack blocked outside old city of Mosul,” 6/25/17

Shafaaq News, “Military spokesman: Daash controls only 1% of old Mosul,” 6/25/17
- “Security commander announces control of vital street in Old Mosul: 800 m separate us from announcing final victory,’ 6/25/17

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