Operation Mother of Two Springs
Operation Mother of Two Springs was essentially a continuation of Lion’s Roar. According to Prime Minister Maliki, “the aim of the offensive is to clear Mosul of the criminal terrorist gangs, putting an end to people’s suffering.” Ultimately, “it intended to provide suitable conditions for the operation of state offices, enabling it to reconstruct the city and to deliver services to its people.” Military operations under Mother of Two Springs targeted wanted individuals and were concentrated largely in the central areas of Mosul. Iraqi Security Forces cleared contested neighborhoods in central Mosul and established 24 hour security presences. Some neighborhoods had not seen a security presence in months and establishing 24 hour security through a network of combat outposts was therefore made a priority. As these central areas become more secure, Iraqi Security Forces pushed out into Mosul’s suburbs and outer lying villages in an effort to dismantle insurgent support areas in Mosul’s belts.
The major groups targeted were al-Qaeda in Iraq, Ansar al Sunna, and Naqshibandis. However, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces faced almost no opposition since the beginning of operations. In total, attacks in Mosul declined from an average of 40 a day in the week prior to the official launch of operations to between 4 and 6 a day in the weeks after – a roughly 85% decrease in attacks. Many insurgents were been detained, others went to ground, and still others fled the Mosul area.
As part of operations in Mosul, Iraqi Security Forces, and Coalition Forces actively blocked escape routes from the area and conducted operations south and west of the city to disrupt insurgent activity and target individuals that may have fled. These areas include the Jazeera desert region west and southwest of Mosul, the cities along the line leading down to northern Salah ad-Din province, and the Za’ab triangle west and southwest of Kirkuk. A number of individuals were detained in these areas including Abdel Khaleq Awad al-Sabawi who is believed to be AQI’s security emir for Ninawa province. Al-Sabawi was detained near Tikrit on May 18th, 2008.