There were various reports out of Mosul. First, an IED in the northwest left three dead and four wounded. There are thousands of unexploded bombs left in the city, which pose a serious threat to people returning right now to the western section. Second, three Islamic State elements were killed trying to cross the Tigris River from west to east Mosul. There are still insurgents said to be hiding in the Old City in the west. They are still being flushed out or attempting to escape. Third, 16 municipal workers were arrested in Mosul for cooperating with IS. The security forces and National Intelligence Agency are hunting down insurgents in the city, and apparently are now focusing upon collaborators as well. Last, 23 people were pulled out of the rubble of the Old City. Finding survivors three weeks after the city was liberated was pretty amazing.
The government continued to move slowly on providing security for Mosul. The Interior Ministry agreed to appoint 1,000 police to Ninewa. The provincial government has been calling on Baghdad to re-instate all 32,000 dismissed police. So far, only a few thousand have been brought back. This 1,000 is a drop in the bucket. That has forced Ninewa to rely upon a plethora of tribal Hashd and ISF units, none of which coordinate with each other, and many of which are in open competition. Ninewa politicians and others have called the situation chaotic. Baghdad has always been bad at planning, and lacks money right now as well to carry out such projects.
The Iraqi government is preparing for the Tal Afar operation. The spokesman for the Rapid Reaction force predicted that the battle would be over quickly. The Golden Division, army, police, Hashd and tribal Hashd will all take part with one exception. A Turkmen Hashd commander told the press that Prime Minister Haidar Abadi will not allow any units from the town itself to participate. That includes a brigade from the army’s 15th Division, two brigades from the Federal Police, the Tal Afar emergency police brigade, and the Al-Hussein brigade of the Hashd. The officer seemed shocked by the premier’s decision. Abadi may be thinking that these units will want revenge against the militants, which would lead to more bad press after all the extra judicial killings that happened after Mosul’s liberation.
The rebuilding of Mosul and Ninewa continues. Bret McGurk the U.S. representative to the anti-IS coalition said that Washington will be providing funding to the U.N. to help stabilize the province. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working to repair a major hospital in Mosul, schools, has provided 50 generators to Mosul University, and has gotten one water treatment plant up and running in the east, and is working on another. Two temporary bridges are being built across the Tigris River, one in Badush and one in Hamam al-Alil. This will greatly help the movement of people and troops through the province. The major bridges were all bombed by the Coalition during the Mosul campaign. The reconstruction of east Mosul is moving ahead rapidly. Things are going more slowly in the west because so much of it was destroyed, there are still explosives everywhere, and sections of the Old City are considered unsafe. The same came be said for most of Ninewa, which does not seem to be getting much attention from the authorities. That leaves the public to do much of the repairs on their own.
Another repercussion of the Mosul battle is thousands of orphans and abandoned children. Reuters wrote about kids that had their parents killed, or were split from their families. There are also many that are suffering trauma from the fighting. UNICEF is attempting to assist them. Some are being put with families in camps, others are finding foster homes. There are two major problems however. One is that the government has no psychological programs for these kids. Second, if they come from IS families they are shunned. Dozens of children for example, were put in a camp just for IS families that were expelled from their homes. Aid groups are trying to deal with these populations, but they have very limited resources.
Finally, former Governor Atheel Nujafi gave a radio interview where he made more accusations against his opponents. He accused Vice President Nouri al-Maliki of surrendering Mosul to the Islamic State in 2014. He and Iran then worked together to use IS and Mosul to raise the profile of the Hashd and occupy the city. He claimed that if his Ninewa Guards were involved in the campaign things would have turned out better. Nujafi has been talking more and more to the media using Mosul to go after his opponents. Nujafi blames Maliki for everything wrong in Iraq. Attacking Iran also goes over well with Sunnis, and his allies Turkey and the Kurdistan Democratic Party that are opposed to Tehran’s influence in the country. These types of criticisms will be heard more and more now that Mosul is freed, and elections are coming.
Baghdad Post, “Nujaifi: Mullah surrendered Mosul to ISIS,orchestrated its destruction,” 7/30/17
- “Official: Tal Afar’s operation to be conducted in record time,” 7/30/17
Bas News, “16 Mosul Employees Arrested for Links with IS,” 7/30/17
Al Forat, “The Security Council discusses the status of Baghdad and the return of displaced people to Mosul,” 7/30/17
Al Ghad Press, “Source: Interior Ministry approves the appointment of 1,000 members of the Ninewa police,” 7/30/17
Hath Al-Youm, “Tal Afar and Hawija… Accounts before the liberation battles,” 7/30/17
MacSwan, Angus, “Lost children are legacy of battle for Iraq’s Mosul,” Reuters, 7/30/17
Al Mada, “The crowd kills 14 Daash in the Ninewa Desert. The defense minister is inspecting the logistical preparations for the liberation of Tal Afar,” 7/30/17
- “Ninewa is perplexed by 30 tribal groups holding liberated lands,” 7/21/17
Mostafa, Mohamed, “Tal Afar personnel excluded from liberation offensives: commander,” Iraqi News, 7/30/17
- “Three IS leaders killed escaping to eastern Mosul via Tigris” Iraqi News, 7/30/17
New Sabah, “Extensive military preparations and strategic planning to begin the liberation of Tal Afar,” 7/30/17
- “Twenty-three civilians were rescued from the rubble after spending three weeks in a basement in Old Mosul,” 7/30/17
Rudaw, “Rebuilding Mosul one of the biggest challenges world has seen in decades,” 7/30/17
- “United in education, 350K students are back to school in Mosul’s east and west,” 7/30/17
Shafaaq News, "Leftover IED leaves 3 dead in Mosul," 7/30/17
Sly, Liz and Shwan, Aaso Amin, “In one Iraqi town, a visit to the first bar to reopen after Islamic State rule,” Washington Post, 7/29/17
Al Taghier TV, “Ninewa…Wounded civilians complain about the poor health and lack of medical staff – Video,” 7/30/17