With the Mosul battle over the Iraqi forces (ISF) are preparing to attack Tal Afar in western Ninewa. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has talked about the upcoming operation almost every day now. The army, police, Hashd and tribal Hashd will all be involved. The ISF are staging in Badush. The Islamic State launched two suicide bombers at that town, which were killed. That might have been a pre-emptive assault by the insurgents. Tal Afar is likely to follow the same plan as Mosul, meaning that the Hashd will have perimeter duties, while the army and police will enter the town. There has been some talk of having the Al Abbas Division being allowed to go into the village as well. It is loyal to Najaf and Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and has worked closely with the army and police before.
U.S. forces and IS were both active south of Mosul. There was a report that a U.S. helicopter landed troops in the town of Mughar and killed three IS members. There was no information about whether this was done by American forces or Iraqis. The insurgents also destroyed a cemetery in the Qayara district. The U.S. operation must have been aimed at a high value target, otherwise the Iraqis could have done it themselves. On the other hand, the militants have various cells operating throughout the freed areas of the province. They do not pose a serious security threat as of now.
The Ninewa Health Directorate gave its casualty count for the Mosul operation. According to the provincial health chief 800 civilians died, 13,000 were injured, and 5,000 ISF were wounded. That was a partial total as the Forensic Department has not re-opened. For much of the start of the campaign casualties were being sent to hospitals in Irbil. It is unclear whether those figures were included in the Health Directorate’s numbers.
There were more political recriminations about the fall of Mosul. Former Ninewa Governor Atheel Nujafi blamed Baghdad for everything. According to him, the central government gave the city to the Islamic State in 2014, allowed the group to carry out massacres, and then destroyed it while liberating it. This was just the latest in several accusations by politicians about the 2014 events. As more time passes, more will throw in their version of events, and attack their opponents at the same time. This also comes as elections are planned for next year. What will not come out of this will be anyone being held responsible.
Baghdad Post, “Iraq gov’t devastated Mosul after capitulating to ISIS: Official,” 7/29/17
- “Over 18,000 injured, 800 killed since beginning of Mosul operations,” 7/29/17
Bennis, Phyllis, “Here’s What US ‘Liberation’ Looks Like: The Devastation of Mosul,” The Wire, 7/29/17
Al Ghad Press, “The Minister of Interior orders the opening of all ministry departments in Mosul,” 7/29/17
- “Sleeper cells launch attack on cemetery south of Mosul,” 7/29/17
NINA, "Security Forces Kill 2 Suicide Bombers Northwest Of Mosul," 7/28/17
Shafaaq News, “US forces carry out an air raid that kills Daash infiltrators south of Mosul,” 7/29/17
Xinhua, “Iraqi PM declares plan to liberate Tal Afar from IS militants,” 7/29/17