Since they have the city pretty well cut off, maybe they're shoring things up before making a final run. Or maybe they'll just wait for winter to set in. I keep seeing pictures of snow on the ground. Could wind up with a (bigger) civilian catastrophe that way.
Also, seems like the Turks are getting their ass handed to them at Al-Bab. I wonder if this is a result of purging the officer corp after the coup earlier this year.
There has been a series of car bomb and mortar attacks around gogjali, which has killed some UN employees, foreign journalists, police officers, and civlians. In response the Iraqis have imposed a curfew.
In Mosul, the US destroyed the last bridge that cuts the city in half while claiming 18 airstrikes on Christmas alone, they also announced a greater US presence in the "second phase" of the operation to retake the city. Meanwhile, the Iraqis discovered ISIS' largest tunnel yet:
In the North, ISIS launched a large counteroffensive in Bawizah, which the Iraqis replled.
What's the tunnel for?
Phase 2 of the operation began yesterday. The Iraqis have once again stormed into Al-Karamah and Intisar district, while pushing into Eastern Mosul again on 3 fronts and on their path to capture Mosul-Tel Skuf road. So far they claim to have recaptured Al-Quds and Akroob (north Al-Hadbaa district in northern Mosul), after being heavily supported by US airstrikes.
http://www.news.com.au/world/middle-...889b3278f334c8The tunnels here vary in length from a few dozen metres to half a kilometre. The builders carved them directly into the rock of Bashiqa mountain and lined those beneath the town itself with timber and metal frames for strength.
They are wide enough for two men to squeeze past one another, and a person of average height could walk through most sections without fear of hitting their head. Some have makeshift hospitals, rest areas, kitchens and weapons storage. Small generators powered lights and ventilation systems — usually just desk fans affixed to the walls.
...there are stories that IS paid some locals 4000 Iraqi dinar (about $4.65) per day to work on the projects. Those caught smoking cigarettes were punished with one day’s digging. The remaining labour came from those enslaved by IS. A UN report released in June estimated some 3500 people, mostly women and children, were still held as slaves by IS.
Things have heated up a little in the West, around Tal Afar, as the Iraqis shore up the Mosul-Tal Afar road north of the city.
In Mosul, there have been reports of skirmishes in 1st and 2nd Fallah neighborhoods, Al-Maliyah neighborhood, Al-Mithaq neighborhood, and continued attacks in the intisar neighborhood (which the Iraqis are now claiming they control). The Iraqis are slowly capturing key points of interest around the Al-Mithaq and Al-Karamah industrial district neighborhoods, while also moving into the Shaymaa neighborhood.
Yesterday the Iraqis reported to have killed 2000 ISIS fighters in Eastern Mosul, and claim to control 42 out of 56 neighborhoods in Eastern Mosul, while reports are that their own casualties have reached 600. Additionally France's President Hollande visited the Kurds in Irbil. Also, yesterday ISIS launched an offensive to cut the Baji-Mosul supply road, which the Iraqis repelled.
The Iraqi federal police have announced that ISIS administrative official Abu Marwan al-Hadithi was killed during clearing operations in al-Wahda, and that they have captured Al-Mualameen district. Fierce fighting has taken place in newly liberated Al-Wahda and the Al-Mithaq districts, and the UN is saying that 13,000 civilians have fled the city in the past 5 days.
What is fierce fighting vs fighting?
Does it involve fashion?
Around Tal Afar, the PMU is claiming to have killed 35 Daesh militants near Tel Afar including the "Assault Commander" of the "Dabiq brigade" Abu Qaswa al-Shami.
South of Mosul, the Iraqi Federal Police are attacking "a major ISIS HQ" at the International airport and Camp Ghazlani.
In Mosul, some more skirmishes have happened in the al-Mithaq neighborhood, and the Iraq federal police unit freed hundreds of families in Al-Mithaq and Al-Sahaa SE Mosul that were used by ISIS as human shields.
The Iraqis are claiming they're back in control of the Al-Salam Hospital in SE Mosul, while also pushing into Al-Hadbaa and al-Muthanna districts in the NE, claiming all of the Muthanna district and an apartment complex liberated in Hadbaa (now that they're moving into some more built up portions of the city).
And the slow grind continues:
Iraqi forces have reached the Tigris river that divides Mosul raising their flag over the 4th bridge, the southernmost of 5 bridges that cross the Tigris within the city.
It looks like they control well over half of eastern Mosul, the larger part of the city, now.
How many ISIS fighters do you guys in the know think remain inside the mixed "Iraqi" ring? A few hundred? A few thousand?
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Originally the US estimates were there were 5000 to 7000 ISIS fighters in Mosul, but some thought it could be twice that. Before this last major assault there were reports that 2000 had been killed. You can probably add another 1000 to that number in the past 5 days. So, they probably have 3000 plus or minus. I would guess that less than 1000 remain on the East side.
On they other hand, with their fight with us or we cut your head off recruiting strategy, it is hard to say how many new fighters they have. The Peshmerga said over a month ago that 100s of fighters they killed on the outskirts where they are were children. of course these untrained "soldiers" are mostly used for suicide missions.
If you look closely at the uncaptured areas along the river, a lot of it is undeveloped, so the Iraqi's should capture all the bridges in the next couple days, but it could take a couple weeks to finish sweeping the neighborhoods. I would not want to trade places with them.
The Iraqis will certainly need to regroup before their assault on the west side.
Checking some other news sources I found some other numbers
There are 2000 estimated ISIS fighters on the western side of Mosul. 60 Isis families evacuated and the fighters are thought to be trying to escape as well. One ISIS fighter was reported to have shot himself in the foot, so he would not have to fight.
On the East side 160 ISIS fighters a day are being killed the past several days, and their bodies have been taken to the city dump with the trash. There is a report that 37 dead Isis soldiers had been found who had been injured and were left to die without medical care, as ISIS is no longer able to care for their injured.
Another report said that ISIS leaders have abandoned eastern Mosul leaving just the fighters, who are no longer being paid or supported in any way.
Reports are that the Iraqis have taken the Al Baladyat neighborhood just east of Mosul University and parts of Al Sukar next to that. They previously took Al Habda to the northeast of the university and yesterday Al Muthanna which is just west of the Nineva ruins.
They announced that they officially control to the eastern side of 4th bridge and they control a southern section of the Nineva ruins.
Once they control Al Sukar the next step appears to be to take control of the University. From there they can reach the Tigris and seal off the northern escape route, leaving only a few small neighborhoods in the city center. The Nineva ruins, Nineva woods, and an amusement park, take up a lot of what is left, so there is a lot of dangerous open ground and not as many buildings.
There are still neighborhoods to the north and south under ISIS control, so it will take another week or two to clear after they secure the central part of Eastern Mosul. I suspect though that a lot of remaining ISIS fighters will start dressing as civilians after the city center falls.
^Pretty much sums it up, sorry I don't update on the weekends, it's usually filled with beer and Football. Them reaching the Tigris river finally is a huge milestone.
Last edited by MillerEP; 01-09-2017 at 05:34 PM.
There is lots of activity today as the Iraqis appear to be making one final push to take the cites eastern center over the next 48 hours.
Isis has set fire to Mosul University as the Iraqis advance on it and the Nineveh ruins. Along the river they have taken the Al Dhunat neighborhood including some government buildings in the south along the Tigris and are approaching the next bridge, which I have seen called old bridge or iron bridge. Isis bombed Iron Bridge and 5th bridge, which had been partially destroyed already by the US.
Iraqi forces are almost done securing the Palestine neighborhood to the south and almost control the entire southern part of Eastern Mosul. They are also securing the Al Habda neighborhood to the NE of the University. Leaving only two more suburban neighborhoods to the north.
There was a report that ISIS VBIED bombing has slowed down. It looks they are about out of vehicle bombs. ISIS has been shelling neighborhoods as they evacuate and shooting civilians in the back as they try to escape through Iraqi lines while waiving white flags.
It sounds like ISIS is close to being in full retreat, but also are on the verge of being cut off at the northernmost bridge in theh city.
There is a report that the ISIS leader Al Baghdadi is sleeping in a suicide vest so he is not taken alive. No one is sure where he is however, although one of his advisors was killed in a US strike. The ISIS finance minister was killed in a separate special forces operation in Syria a couple days ago.
The Iraqi army is in the process of taking the University, and has moved up to 2nd bridge, the third bridge coming from the south. There is only an amusement park between 2nd bridge and 5th bridge and parking and a wooded area to the most northern bridge, which I assume is 3rd bridge.
The army has reported that they have secured all the southern areas of Eastern Mosul. The national police have been coming in behind the army to keep those areas secure.
The largest unsecured neighborhood in the city center is actually a primarily Kurdish neighborhood, so it is unlikely that ISIS has many friends there. There are 5 smaller zones left after that, which I am guessing includes a number of government buildings and businesses.
Watched a pretty cool doc last night on netflix about a few foreign fighters who joined up with the YPG. Apparently the good guys get their fair share of volunteers from around the world too. Cant remember the name of the show but it was on the recently added queue.
Things are getting interesting between Turkey and the YPG as Turkey just cut off supply to Manbij in preparation for an assault. Unfortunately it may mean that the YPG stops fighting ISIS near Raqqa, since this sounds like it will turn into a war between Turkey and Syrian Kurdistan.
With US special forces embedded with both the Turkish backed FSA and YPG, some may end up fighting each other. We need to tell Erdogan to go $#@! himself.
Yesterday the US announced that the Syrian Kurd's political arm would be in the negotiations, and the SDF put out a letter stating that the are not affliated with the PKK, are only fighting ISIS and hope to work with governments innthe region including Turkey. It sounds like small steps, but perhaps Erdogan will listen. Ok, I don't really believe he will, but at least we can try to make him look bad.
Some Highlights from today:
The militias have taken Al-Hayanyia, Al-Jahaf, and Tal Al-Janoubi South of Al-Tal (South of Tal Afar and South-West of Mosul), while building up more militia forces around Tal Afar (possibly for an operation to retake the city).
In Western Mosul the Iraqi Air Force targeted ISIS HQ in Hay Al-Amal in west Mosul, a senior commander and his companions were supposedly killed in the strike. In SE Mosul, the Iraqis are claiming to have captured Al-Sahroon and Al-Salam neighborhood, leaving only a few salients left in the SE to the Tigris. In Eastern Mosul, the Iraqis are now trying to retake Mosul University. Lt. Gen.Talib Shaghati the head of Iraq's counterterrorism service is estimating that the ops to retake Mosul could be complete in 3 months or less.
Either way, I don't think Turkey will withdraw from NATO, which would really be the only way they would force us out of Incirlik. IF that were to happen though, aside from the initial headache of moving the nukes and personnel I honestly think it'll be better for NATO to not have Turkey in it, especially since we finally setup our bases in Poland, Estonia, and a few others yesterday, which Poland has been begging us for since 1989. Turkey has always been a fickle ally, and at times a drain, since they're the second largest military in NATO but falling under the 2% requirement for funding. Their entire value is/was in their strategic location, which we are finally making obsolete with the recent bases in Eastern Europe, and any permanent establishment we can eek out in the Middle East.
Last edited by MillerEP; 01-12-2017 at 01:57 PM.
I thought Greece had a bad case of the poors.
I get why Italy is below 2%. They're like the Mexico of Europe.
But the rest of those guys? For shame.
Turkey responded as suspected claiming the Kurd's statement was nonsense and accused the US of supporting terrorists, and not that nicely.
It has been slow going for Iraq the past couple days, but they have finally captured parts of Mosul University, and have taken the eastern end of 2nd bridge along with government buildings in the sector between old bridge and 2nd bridge.
Since things in Syria obviously weren't interesting enough already, Israel bombed a major munitions depot outside Damascus. They claimed it held munitions for Hezbollah, but it also had Syrian army munitions.
Iraq announced today that they have taken all of Mosul University. From the south Iraqi forces have taken parts of the neighborhoods between the streets that lead to 2nd and 5th bridge, while at the same time entering the Kurdish neighborhood south of the Ninevah ruins. Other than that there are about 4 small sectors remaining and open ground. At the rate they are clearing it will take about 2 days to capture the remaining areas in the center of the city.
The Iraqi National Police forces have full control of the south east of the city, and there are still two large neighborhoods on the outskirts of Mosul to the north that will need to be cleared, but that will probably happen after the Eastern center city is under control.
Some ISIS have been escaping across the river by boat, and there is infighting between them and those in Western Mosul, since they are considered cowards.
In Syria, Turkey reopened the road to Manbij allowing supplies through. Turkey is still bombing Al Bab and consolidating control around the city. It is not clear when they will start the really tough job of taking the city. The Turkish forces appear to want to leave the really dangerous jobs to the FSA, but the FSA may not yet be strong enough to take Al Bab, unless the Turks are willing to sacrifice a lot of soldiers too.
Near Raqqa the SDF has captured a large area East of the Euphrates and west of Raqqa and are near Tabqa dam. These are areas that the SDF likely wants to control on a more permanent basis so they are taking their time. At the rate they are going it could take 6 to 8 weeks before they have all the territory East and North of Raqqa, and start considering their assault strategy for the city.
Mosul university is liberated? Cool, so aggy can keep them on their football schedule next season.
What's their mascot, anyway?
Heard on the radio today that it's not going well. The city is not actually surrounded. The Iraqis are stuck on the eastern side of the Tigris. The city is full of Chechens who are basically doing what they want.
The marines would have sorted this mess out months ago.
The Iraqis stopped their attack today because of bad weather, so ISIS decided to counterattack. Not much news other than that.
There are reports that the Iraqis took one small quarter between Mosul University and Mosul Park that borders the Tigris, sometime in the past 12 hours or so. If true they are very close to the river,and close to encircling the remaining ISIS fighters in the eastern city center.
some rando radio broadcast that mini baller heard vs. reports from Miller and the rest of you guys...
this is a tough one...
There was just some news that the Iraqi CTS is near the 5 star Ninawa International Hotel where ISIS leadership and foreign fighters are staying. That is going to be some nasty room-to-room search. There are some interesting comments about the hotel, as one person asked if they would host a Muhammed drawing conference, and another asked if they served kosher. There was, however, a warning that guests caught breaking the rules will be beheaded.
Yesterday they had taken the northernmost of the city center quarter Al Andalus,and now have taken Al Shorta to the south which brings them to the road that leads to the northernmost bridge 3rd bridge. They are about to storm Al Muhandasin south of Al Shorta. After that there is only Al Taqafah and Az Zarai quarters between the northern and southern Iraqi forces in the center of Eastern Mosul, and there is the Kurdish neighborhood to the East, which looks to be only partly cleared.
In the northern parts of the city they took Al Kindy to the north of Al Habda north of the university. The only northern quarter left is Al Arabi on the northern outskirts, and then a neighborhood or small city beyond that Ar Rashidiyah.
The Al Taqafah and Az Zarai quarters are the only ones left in ISIS control in the center of Eastern Mosul, so it is probably a matter of hours. There is still Al Arabi to the north, but that probably won't take much more than another day or two.
Only new news to add is that the Iraqis now control all 5 bridges (or what's left of them) to the Western edge of the city.They're also fully in control of Mosul's Grand Mosque, while finding a nice cache of ISIS passports inside Mosul University.
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