Top ISIS commander killed in drone strike
A top ISIS military commander was killed in a drone strike north of Baghdad.
“The so-called military commander for Baghdad and Diyala Vilayet, Abu Maryam, was killed in a drone strike in al-Tarmia,” the Iraqi War Media Cell reported Monday.
Al-Tarmia is located in Saladdin Province, approximately 50 kilometres north of Baghdad.
Iraqi forces announce liberation of new villages
The Iraqi forces – army, federal police, and counter-terrorism forces – liberated five villages and progressed in eastern Mosul, according to a statement from the Iraqi War Media Office published Monday evening.
On the southwest front, the Iraqi federal police and the Nineveh Operations liberated Qabir al-Abid village north of Hamam al-Alil, the cement factory of Hamam al-Alil, Marij village, and continue to clear Hamam al-Alil of explosives to ensure safe return of residents.
On the southeast front, the 9th armored division and the third brigade liberated the village of Manarat Shabak east of Mosul, and made an incursion inside eastern neighbourhoods of Mosul – Hay Intisar, Judaydah al-Mufti, and Hay Shaima’.
On the eastern front, counter-terrorism forces made progress encircling the neighbourhoods of Karama, Malayyin al-Salasa, Shquq Khazraa, Zahra, Karkuli, Aden, and Zahabi.
On the northern front, the 16th division liberated the al-Sada area and Bawizah.
See the Rudaw map for details:
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Dark green - under Peshmerga control
Light green - encircled/battling by Peshmerga
Red - under Iraqi control
Pink - encircled/battling by Iraqi forces
Yellow - under Hashd al-Shaabi control
Orange - encircled/battling by Hashd al-Shaabi
VIDEO: Peshmerga forces inside ghost town Bashiqa
The town of Bashiqa is empty of civilians, Rudaw’s correspondents in the area reported. But the fear of booby-traps and explosives has prevented our crews from entering structures, including the Assyrian Orthodox Church.
Peshmerga conducting house-to-house searches in Bashiqa
The Peshmerga are in Bashiqa, conducting house-to-house searches after launching a “large-scale ground assault from three fronts” Monday morning to clear ISIS from the town northeast of Mosul, the General Command of the Peshmerga Forces confirmed in a statement Monday evening.
“As of 1700hrs, Peshmerga Forces have advanced from all three fronts into the town and begun house-to-house clearances,” the statement reads.
“There have been at least 14 Global Coalition airstrikes in support of the operation. One suspected VBIED has been destroyed.”
Rudaw reporters spot US soldiers in Bashiqa
Rudaw correspondents reported seeing US forces in the town of Bashiqa on Monday, alongside Peshmerga forces that entered the town northeast of Mosul and declared it free from ISIS, despite some remaining pockets of resistance.
The US military command in Erbil did not confirm the presence of the soldiers, but said in a brief statement that “The Coalition supports the government of Iraq's plan to liberate the city of Mosul and defeat Da’esh in Northern Iraq,” using an Arabic name for ISIS.
““Our elements place themselves on the battlefield in the best position to support our partner forces. This includes tactical assembly areas that are established on the battlefield to support the Iraqi operations to liberate Mosul from Da'esh,” the statement said.
“We don't discuss locations or dispositions of coalition units, but they are in support of the Iraqi Security Forces who are out front leading the fight against Da'esh.”
Rudaw reporters said the American soldiers in Bashiqa were not seen in combat roles.
The beheaded bodies of 100 civilians were found by Iraqi forces in a college building in the town of Hamam al-Alil, the Iraqi War Media Office said.
"Inside the building of the Faculty of Agriculture there is a new crime: the presence of 100 beheaded bodies of citizens killed by terrorists, and a special team will be sent to inspect this heinous crime,” the office said in a statement.
The Iraqi military declared the town liberated from ISIS on Saturday.
Bashiqa under Peshmerga control but ISIS pockets remain
The town of Bashiqa is under full control of Peshmerga forces but pockets of ISIS militants remain that will be dealt with tomorrow or the day after, a Peshmerga commander told Rudaw Monday evening. He warned that the remaining militants could attack the Peshmerga from tunnels they have dug across the town and with suicide car bombings.
“I have not seen a scene like this throughout this war,” Musa Gardi, commander for the Peshmerga Halgurd brigade told Rudaw TV from inside Bashiqa. “Today ISIS used about 40 car bombs,” he said, explaining the resistance that the militants have put up since the Kurdish forces entered the town early Monday.
Rudaw correspondent Sandar Abdulrahman reported hearing sporadic bursts of gunfire in the streets. He said the town has been demolished by airstrikes, shelling and fighting for the past two weeks.
There was a 53 percent increase in displacement of civilians over the weekend, according to the most recent figures from the UN’s refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), dated Sunday and released Monday. Since the start of the offensive, 33,996 individuals have been displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas, the UNHCR reported.
The UN’s newest camp, Hasan sham, opened on November 5, is housing more than 5,000 people. A mobile medical clinic is also operating in the camp, servicing displaced persons from areas around Mosul.
Rudaw reporter: Bashiqa is liberated; Peshmerga in full control
Peshmerga in Bashiqa liberate municipal and Kurdistan Democratic Party branch buildings
Veteran Kurdish Peshmerga and commander Kaka Hama:
Nearly 70 percent of plan to liberate Bashiqa successfully implemented: Veteran Peshmerga commander Kaka Hama.
Peshmerga have made giant advances in Bashiqa from three directions.
Coalition warplanes playing an important role in Bashiqa.
Coalition airstrikes deep in Bashiqa struck an ISIS suicide car bomber, setting it ablaze with thick clouds of smoke, as Peshmerga forces push into the town in the campaign to liberate Mosul.
An ISIS suicide car bomb hit by Peshmerga tanks goes up in flames and thick smoke as a Rudaw crew meters from the scene captures the attack.
ISIS reportedly carried out 11 suicide attacks against Peshmerga in Bashiqa, Rudaw's Ranja Jamal reported from the scene. He said the 11 were surrounded and chose to detonate their explosives and die instead of being captured.
Bashiqa operation on Rudaw Map:
Rudaw reporter: Coalition warplanes providing air support to Peshmerga for Bashiqa advance
-ISIS putting up little resistance as Peshmerga advance into Bashiqa center from four directions.
-Peshmerga official says an estimated 40 to 50 ISIS militants are believed to be left in Bashiqa.
- Peshmerga officials expect Bashiqa entirely liberated today.
Peshmerga forces have captured two ISIS militants in Bashiqa.
Rudaw reporter: When breaking cover from a tunnel, two ISIS militants were captured by the Peshmerga.
Peshmerga Commander Sihad Barzani: Peshmerga artillery units are bombing ISIS positions in Bashiqa, afflicting heavy damage on the militants' positions.
Rudaw reporter: Peshmerga forces have entered the town of Bashiqa, clashes are continuing.
-At least 11 ISIS militants have been killed in today’s clashes by the Peshmerga in Bashiqa.
- Five ISIS suicide bombers have blown themselves up near Peshmerga positions, no casualties have been reported.
Peshmerga forces have reached the Azawiya intersection in Bashiqa.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched a final offensive to liberate the ISIS-held town of Bashiqa in the early hours of Monday from all directions, said a Rudaw reporter
The reporter also said, as part of the offensive, warplanes from the US-led coalition also bombed the group’s positions last night inside Bashiqa paving the way for the Peshmerga to advance into the town.
ISIS has dug multiple trenches for cover inside the town, said Rudaw’s Hiwa Hussamedin from the scene.
Bashiqa had been surrounded by the Peshmerga for two weeks.
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani declared on the Khazir Front last month that Bashiqa had fallen militarily and was surrounded by the Peshmerga, who were not rushing to go in for fear of booby traps and other explosives.
Lying only 20 kilometres northeast of central Mosul Bashiqa had a diverse population, with a majority of Yezidis and Shabaks and a minority of Assyrians and Arabs, leading it to be often described as ‘the little Iraq.’