Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 187, Apr 21, 2017

The Iraqi forces were involved in heavy fighting across west Mosul. There were clashes between the Islamic State and Golden Division in the Siha neighborhood, and with the police in the Old City district. The Golden Division has been making steady progress up the middle and western section of the city, while the police have been stuck in the Old City for more than a month. The narrow streets, dense layout of buildings, and Islamic State defenses have all held up taking the district.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 186, Apr 20, 2017

April 19 Iraqi police claimed they had liberated 30-40% of the Old City. Newest map shows no changes in district. Bulge on left was recent 200m advance police made April 16, otherwise no movement in south for over month now (Ninewa Media Center)

The Golden Division was still advancing in the center of west Mosul. The Nasr neighborhood was declared freed, and there was fighting in Haramat, Siha, and Tanak. The unit has been making steady progress in the middle and western section of the city.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 185, Apr 19, 2017

PM Abadi visiting west Mosul (Rudaw)

Iraqi propaganda again obscured what was going on in west Mosul. First, the Golden Division freed the Thawra neighborhood in the center of the city on April 18. Then on April 19 a spokesman for the Rapid Reaction Division claimed that 30% of the Old City had been taken, while a police major had it at 40%. The major said this was the result of 38 days of fighting in the district. The police have largely been on pause for the last month however, and no neighborhoods were named as being liberated. The Federal Police also reported that it was destroying Islamic State sites in the district, fighting in Farouq Street like they have for weeks now, and attempting to connect with the Golden Division in Thawra. All the previous reports had the police advancing block by block with no large sections being seized. To add to the confusion, the daily map released by the government showed the Golden Division’s latest movement in the center of the city, but no change in the Old City. Not only that it had new sections in the north being taken, yet this was not announced in any press releases. Recently the 9th Division and Hashd took the towns that were just outside of the city, but nothing else has been heard from them since then. The Iraqi government is notorious for exaggerating and making claims before they happen and it would seem this was another example.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 184, Apr 18, 2017

Iraqi Federal Police firing a mortar in Old City, west Mosul (USA Today)

The Golden Division maintained its push into central west Mosul. Its forces were still fighting in the Thawra and Tanak neighborhoods. General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi claimed that once those two were taken the Old City district would be mostly surrounded. In actuality the division would just be pushing along its perimeter more. That’s what the Golden Division has been doing for the last month. Taking the district remains the job of the police who are only making halting progress.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 183, Apr 17, 2017

Bulge in middle of map represent recent gains by Golden Division in center of west Mosul. Green at top is where 9th Division seized entrances to northwest section of city. Iraqi police still fighting over Old City on right in grey. Green = liberated, white = IS control, blue = Tigris River (Ninewa Media Center)

The Iraqi police were still attempting to seize the Grand Mosque in the Old City district of west Mosul. They were fighting in the Farouq neighborhood of the district. At the same time, the Islamic State counterattacked and forced them out of the Kornish Street area. The police spent the day attempting to drive off the insurgents. The Iraqi police only recently restarted their effort in the Old City after a month long pause. Their progress has still been extremely slow due to the tough defenses of the Islamic State and the dense layout, which has reduced most of the fighting to house to house, room to room.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 181-182, Apr 15-16, 2017

The Golden Division was said to be finally assaulting the Old City, but that claimw as unclear. The unit was fighting in the Tanak neighborhood, which was declared freed on April 13, and in Thawra. There was also a report that the unit was pushing on the Fifth Bridge across the Tigris. The problem with that is the Golden Division is in the center and west of Mosul, and the Fifth Bridge is all the way on the other side of the city to the east. Also Tanak and Thawra have been fought over since the end of March, so the division has not entered any new areas yet. At the same time Iraqi propaganda often exaggerates progress so these may be new areas the unit was fighting over.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Musings On Iraq In The News

Security In Iraq, April 1-7, 2017

The on going Battle for Mosul continued to drive violence across Iraq in April 2017. In the rest of the country attacks have been going steadily down for the last few months, especially in places like Baghdad, which has seen the fewest incidents and casualties in years.

There were 169 incidents in Iraq from April 1-7 reported in the press. That was the most since 171 from March 8-14. There were 88 incidents in Ninewa, followed by 32 in Baghdad, 17 in Diyala, 9 in Salahaddin, 9 in Anbar, 7 in Kirkuk, 3 in Basra, 3 in Babil, and 1 in Najaf.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 180, Apr 14, 2017

Map comparing WMosul April 4 (top) to April 14, 2017 (bottom). The police have made no movement for a month in the Old City (grey area) to the right. The Golden Division on the other hand has moved up into the center of the city. The 9th Division and Hashd also just took the towns leading to the entrance to Mosul from the northwest. Green = liberated, white = IS controlled, blue = Tigris river (Ninewa Media Center)

ISF using jamming devices against IS UAVs Mosul (Baghdad Post)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 179, Apr 13, 2017

Dots represent destroyed sites in Mosul observed by the UN. Different colors represent different types of structures such as red for commercial, yellow for housing. (UN Human Settlements Program)

The big news of the day on the military front was that the 9th Division and Hashd almost reached west Mosul. They took five towns just on the outskirts of the city. These forces have been caught up clearing the Badush district to the west for the last two months, cutting off escape routes for the Islamic State. It is assumed that they will eventually assault the city itself and open a new front in the northwest.

Mosul Campaign Day 187, Apr 21, 2017

The Iraqi forces were involved in heavy fighting across west Mosul. There were clashes between the Islamic State and Golden Division in t...