As the fight between the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and ISIS in and around Mosul compresses, the high stakes of the operation and close-contact warfare are increasingly placing Mosul’s civilian population in the crossfire.
Control of Terrain in Iraq
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) moved deeper into Mosul’s eastern neighborhoods as the ISF and Peshmerga made significant gains on Mosul’s eastern and southern axes in an effort to encircle the city.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) began advancing into Mosul’s eastern and southeastern neighborhoods on November 1-3, marking the first time the ISF has had any presence in the city since ISIS captured it in mid-2014.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reached Mosul’s eastern city limits on October 31 to begin the initial push into the city. Meanwhile, Iraqi Shi’a militias, including Iranian proxies and U.S.-designated terrorist groups, opened up a western axis on October 29 with the intention to retake Tel Afar, west of Mosul.
Operations to retake Mosul have made minimal progress since the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) announced an operational pause on October 25 in order for the five axes approaching Mosul to re-sync before advances into the city limits begin.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Peshmerga forces launched operations from eastern and southern axes to recapture Mosul and Ninewa province on October 17.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Peshmerga contested ISIS’s hold over significant urban centers in Mosul’s environs from October 22-24, 2016. In response, ISIS continued to launch suicide attacks against advancing security forces and to attack far-flung areas in a diversionary tactic.
ISIS launched a major counter-attack in Kirkuk Province in response to advances by Iraqi and Kurdish security forces towards Mosul on October 20 and 21.
The Coalition-led operation to secure Mosul from ISIS advanced towards the city from two directions in the first 72 hours as of October 19, 2016. U.S. Forces are participating in the operation as advisers and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs).
Iraqi and regional actors are preparing to assist with or spoil the Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF) operation to retake Mosul and its environs from ISIS. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the start of operations to retake the city on October 17.