Security and rebuilding were the top news in Mosul again. Three IS elements made up of a handicapped man and two women attacked a checkpoint killing a policeman in the Zinjali neighborhood in the west. The man was killed and the two females arrested. The insurgents are still carrying out sporadic operations inside the city with a mix of hidden elements in tunnels and basements, and cells hiding out in the city.
As people are moving back into the western half unexploded ordinance is proving an extreme danger. A family of eight was killed by an IED inside a house. Iraqi and foreign sources believe it could take over a year to remove most of these explosives.
A parliamentarian accused commanders in the security forces (ISF) of taking bribes to allow militants to escape Mosul. A few similar stories have come out before. The ISF does have corruption problems so these reports could prove true.
Baghdad continued to complicate the security in Ninewa. The 3rd Federal Police Division has been given control of Qayara to the southeast of Mosul and the 5th Division was deployed between the Fourth and Third Bridges along the Tigris in west Mosul. Security in Mosul and Ninewa is being done by a variety of units from the police to the army’s 16th Division to tribal Hashd units to the National Intelligence Agency. The Ninewa government wants the provincial police to hold the entire security file, but Baghdad has been dragging its feet on re-instating them. That has created the current hodgepodge of forces to do the job, which has been called “chaotic” by several officials and Hashd in the province because there is no coordination between them, and many are in competition with each other. Adding the Federal Police to the mix does not appear to be an improvement, but just adding to the current problem.
The Ninewa Council made a new estimate on the effects of the fighting on Mosul. It believes that 85% of the infrastructure and government offices in West Mosul were damaged, versus 65-70% in the east. In the Old City, the figure went up to 90% as that district saw the most intense combat of the entire campaign. While east Mosul is being put back together the west still lags behind because of the extent of the destruction. As more studies are done the bill for rebuilding will continue to increase.
Two conferences will be held to try to raise funds for the reconstruction of the liberated areas of Iraq. The first will happen in Washington, and the second in Kuwait. The U.S. meeting will have nearly 35 countries and the World Bank, and is supposed to happen soon. The Kuwait conference will occur at the start of next year and include the U.S., England, the European Union, Asian countries, and some Gulf States. Baghdad has a ten-year $100 billion reconstruction plan in the works. Prime Minister Haidar Abadi and an economic analyst however warned that Iraq may not be able to garner much money from these meetings. Iraq is suffering a budget deficit due to low oil prices, so without donations, grants and loans, it will not have funds for its projects, which means many parts of Mosul and other areas of Iraq might never be fully rebuilt anytime soon.
Several Hashd units carried out a sweep in west Ninewa. They claimed they cleared 17 villages in the process. This might have been a preparatory operation for the coming attack on Tal Afar. Abadi has said the plans are ready, and the forces are only waiting for his order.
Abadi claimed a deadline had been set for the return of displaced (IDPs) to Mosul, but no specifics were given on when that was. The Displacement Ministry announced that approximately 35,000 IDPs returned, but 49,502 fled in July. People were going back to both east and west Mosul. The figures have remained low so far, especially to west Mosul because of destroyed homes, the lack of services, and most importantly continued news of IS attacks. When people feel the city is safer there is likely to be a flood of IDPs heading home.
AIN, “Abadi announces the start of bombing of Tal Afar and does not expect large grants at the Kuwait Conference [expanded],” 8/1/17
Baghdad Post, “35,000 displaced persons return home in Nineveh: Minister,” 8/1/17
- “Security commanders release ISIS inmates in return for money-MP,” 8/1/17
Elmanzalawy, Elwy, “IS physically-challenged member, two women kill policeman west of Mosul,” Iraqi News, 8/1/17
Al Ghad Press, “Crowd launches a massive military operation to clear area west of Mosul,” 8/1/17
- “Source: Federal police want to provide security in West Mosul,” 8/1/17
- “A source for Al Ghad Press: The Mosul security file has not been handed over to the police,” 8/1/17
Iraq News Network, “Ninewa Council: 85% of West Mosul destroyed,” 8/1/17
Al Maalomah, “Fifth Division in the Federal Police receives the security file in West Mosul,” 8/1/17
New Sabah, “Kuwait conference of donor countries seeks to raise 100 billion dollars for Iraq,” 8/1/17
Prickett, Ivor, “In Mosul, Revealing the Last ISIS Stronghold,” New York Times, 8/1/17
Al Rafidain, “Bodies are scattered throughout Mosul and nothing suggests life,” 8/1/17
Robson, Seth, “US troops aiding Iraqis before looming ISIS battle in Tal Afar,” Stars and Stripes, 8/1/17
Shafaaq News, “Two security unit gain the security file in West and south of Mosul,” 8/1/17
Sotaliraq, “Iraqi official: 60 countries promised to participate in reconstruction operations,” 8/1/17