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Iraqi troops gearing up for second phase of Mosul offensive

By Rudaw 25/12/2016
Iraqi troops in Mosul. Photo by Hejar Jawhar/Rudaw
Iraqi troops in Mosul. Photo by Hejar Jawhar/Rudaw

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--Iraqi special forces are gearing up for what they call the second phase of the Mosul offensive to retake the city from the extremist group ISIS, commanders told Rudaw.

The commander of the Golden Division, Fazil Barwari, said that he expects to liberate the east side of the city by New Year ’s Eve.

Iraqi troops claim they have retaken at least 40 neighborhoods of Mosul from ISIS since they launched an offensive on October 17, though this figure has been put at 20 by their coalition partners.

“Now Iraqi forces are resuming the battle to liberate the rest and fully take control of the city,” Saad al-Hadithi, the Iraqi government spokesperson told Rudaw TV on Saturday.

“Iraqi forces are committed to abide by the plan (to liberate) Mosul, protecting civilians, as well,” al-Hadithi added.

Meanwhile he admitted that it is becoming a slow battle as troops advance further into the city, especially due to concerns for civilian life.

“It is a great challenge that Iraqi forces are trying to liberate Mosul and keep its civilians safe,” he said.

It took Iraqi forces more than 60 days to complete the first phase of the Mosul battle.

Mosul is the capital of the Nineveh province, 60 percent of which has been liberated by the army in the last two years, said the Iraqi government spokesperson.

Al-Hadithi said that the army also has the challenge of treating wounded civilians in liberated areas.

“We are also treating those who are wounded as a result of indiscriminate ISIS mortar attacks,” he said.


martinarcher | 26/12/2016
The Kurds would be well advised to stay out of Mosul and conserve their ammunition for when they have to fight the Iraqi army - which will be constantly until the US stops supporting the Baghdad Shiites efforts to regain power over the Kurds.
ali altalkani | 26/12/2016
Iraqi security forces have never stopped fighting ISIS as they to reclaim Mosul from the control of what is called the Islamic state. More importantly, Mosul is a big city with a population more than a million and that forces them to be fully aware of not targeting civilians as this made the war takes more time. ISIS used compulsory methods as they violated the rights of trapped civilians. ISIS used them as human shields which made them to run out of food supplies and other things. 125 thousand suffering from lack of services escaped Mosul towards bad conditioned camps. Moreover, Iraqi security forces are trying to update their plans for batter combat precision and speed. Until now, ISIS has bombed more than 600 cars during that time, which made it a huge obstacle to advance for the security forces. Even though, the military progress in clearly noted as the military commanders hope to impose a full siege on Mosul with the cooperation of international alliance forces, Peshmerga, Iraqi mobilization forces and the tribal forces
Leo | 26/12/2016
Your soldiers and especially your special forces are facing the most fanatical, suicidal and dangerous enemy ever faced by any army, in an environment of their chosing and preparation. More so than the Japanese of WE2 or any opponents in Viet Nam, Iraq or Afghanistan faced by American soldiers, including their Special Forces.The bravery and exceptional skill of your Division and Special Forces are a shining example to the rest of the Iraq Army.Be courageous and do not fear the suicidal ISIS fighters you face as they will be destroyed, even if the cost is high.I salute you General and your skilful and courageous soldiers, and I know you will prevail, and destroy the enemy.One word of caution. from this old soldier.Make your decisions of progress and time of victory, only, on the true situation on the ground, on the battlefield, not the truths the politian want you to tell them.Remember the old adage,"less haste, more speed". May Allah, protect and guide you and your soldiers.

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