Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 155-56, March 20-21, 2017


Battle landscapes in west Mosul (Reuters)

Things are still going slow in trying to capture the Old City district in west Mosul. The Golden Division, coming form the southwest took the Resala and Nablus neighborhoods officially. Some streets were liberated as well, which is a perfect example of how things are progressing.


During the fighting on March 20, a police colonel and 8 officers were captured and killed by the Islamic State. Reportedly they were in a firefight and ran out of ammunition, and were taken by the insurgents. Their bodies were later found.

There are still scattered reports of IS using chemical attacks in Mosul. On March 20 45 people from five neighborhoods were brought in chocking from what they claimed were mortar shells full of gas. None of these incidents has ever been confirmed, but if they were they were likely chlorine as the insurgents have used that agent several times before.

According to Shafaaq News local officials and members of the Iraqi security forces (ISF) were looting in Mosul. Officials were said to have taken several tons of wheat, while soldiers were carting off generators. There were some similar reports of stealing from homes in the city before.

The 9th Division and Hashd were still fighting in the Badush district west of Mosul. A residential complex, and three towns were freed. They are now 15 kilometers away from the Mosul.

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq spokesman Jawad Talabawi was again talking about taking the town of Tal Afar by the Syrian border. He told the press preliminary operations would begin soon and include the Hashd and army. Who will actually take the town is still up in the air between the Hashd and ISF. That issue is unlikely to be resolved until after Mosul is taken no matter what any spokesperson wants to claim.

The displacement crisis south of Mosul continued to get worse. The United Nations had up to 5,000 per day going through the screening checkpoints in Hamam al-Alil. The problem is the camps in that area have had no room for several days now. The U.N. even opened a new one, but it was immediately filled. Now people are setting up tents around Hamam al-Alil or moving to east Mosul. The irony is that there is still space available in Kurdistan, but the authorities are not taking many people there. The government originally told people to stay inside Mosul because it could not take care of them if they left. The intense fighting, heavy civilian casualties, and severe shortages are all forcing people to leave in huge numbers and leading to this dilemma.

SOURCES

Adel, Loaa, "Al-Hashd al-Shaabi liberates residential complex near Badush Plant, Mosul," Iraqi News, 3/20/17
- "Joint forces liberate several areas in western Mosul," Iraqi News, 3/21/17

Agence France Presse, “Iraq forces push into Old Mosul as thousands trapped,” 3/20/17
- “Iraq says more than 180,000 displaced from west Mosul,” 3/20/17

Baghdad Post, "Schoolmaster, his family killed in terrorist attacks in Mosul," 3/20/17

BBC, “Mosul battle: 180,000 civilians flee as Iraqi troops advance,” 3/20/17

D’Agata, Charlie, “ISIS battles U.S.-backed troops to vicious standoff in Mosul,” CBS News, 3/21/17

Davison, John and Markey, Patrick, “Iraqis pouring out of Mosul find no place at crowded camps,” Reuters, 3/20/17

Al Forat, "Popular crowd frustrates two Daesh car bombs in Badush," 3/20/17

Hoke, Zlatica, “Iraqi Troops Enter Area Around Mosul’s Symbolic Mosque,” Voice of America, 3/20/17

Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul: March 20, 2017,” 3/20/17

Al Maalomah, “Commander popular crowd likely to launch pre-liberation operations in Tal Afar within days,” 3/21/17
- "Daesh criminals kill a woman and her daughter, west Mosul," 3/20/17

Al Mada, “70% of IDPs returned to Left bank of Mosul and shelters people from the west side,” 3/21/17

Markey, Patrick, “Iraqi forces try to bring civilians out of west Mosul, U.S. pledges more support,” Reuters, 3/21/17

Markey, Patrick and Davison, John, "Fight on for Mosul as car bomb kills 23," Reuters, 3/20/17
- “IS force young men to fight in defense of Mosul – refugees,” 3/20/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Defense media says Iraqi forces recaptured two districts in western Mosul," Iraqi News, 3/21/17
- “Iraqi forces apparently relying on inside rebels to fight IS in western Mosul,” Iraqi News, 3/20/17
- "Iraqi forces control more facilities in central Mosul, 3 bombers killed," Iraqi News, 3/21/17
- "PMUs advance towards Mosul from western gate," Iraqi News, 3/21/17
- “Police forces resume push towards IS “caliphate” mosque in western Mosul,” Iraqi News, 3/20/17
- “Scores of civilians hide under rubble as western Mosul battles heighten,” Iraqi News, 3/20/17

NINA, "-Daesh Targeting Civilians By Projectiles Carry Toxic Gases In Mosul," 3/20/17

Shafaaq News, "An entire family of six killed by Daesh shelling, southwest Mosul," 3/21/17
- "Popular crowd announces grabbing village from Daesh west of Mosul," 3/20/17
- "This is what happened in Mosul in the last 24 hours," 3/21/17
- “Two sources: Officials and soldiers steal wheat and generators worth billions of dinars in Mosul,” 3/21/17

Stoffel, Derek, “On the front lines in Mosul, Canadian medical charity treating the wounded,” CBC, 3/20/17

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update – 19 March 2017,” 3/19/17

World Health Organization, “WHO Special Situation report – Mosul Crisis, Iraq – Issue No 10: 12 to 18 March 2017,” 3/18/17

Xinhua, “Iraqi forces gain more areas in fight against IS militants in west Mosul,” 3/20/17


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