Special Forces in Battle for Western #Mosul
US Army Military Advisers
In the past few weeks, approx. 450 US special forces have been with the Iraqi Army to direct airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) materiel, and advise Iraqi commanders on battlefield command and control, according to the LA Times.
US Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told a news conference in Baghdad, Monday:
We’re operating closer and deeper into the Iraqi formation, so we adjusted our posture during the east Mosul fight and we embedded advisers a bit further down into the formation.
Australian Special Forces
Australian special forces are situated within 50km of Mosul to provide support and medical treatment.
Vice Admiral David Johnston, Australian Defence Force chief of joint operations, warned of ISIS/Daesh sleeper cells in eastern Mosul, positioned to counter-attack coalition forces as they move on western Mosul. Vice Admiral Johnstonmade a statement that:
The liberation of Mosul will not be the end of the mission to defeat Daesh but its successful conclusion will increase pressure on Daesh, both in Iraq, Syria and globally.
The Australian airforce has hit 131 targets in the Mosul vicinity since the advance on the city began in October. Targets included bomb factories, Islamic State fighters, heavy weapons positions, tunnel entrances and weapon caches.
At the same time, the Australian and New Zealand armies have trained seven Iraqi brigades now deployed in the battle for Mosul. Australia has a total of 780 military personnel in the Middle East as part of Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).
Taking Western Mosul
Former MI5 intelligence officer, Annie Machon, told RT:
I think west Mosul will be an incredibly difficult nut to crack, because it’s a very ancient city, there are a lot of small alleys and armed vehicles can’t go down those narrow alleys. So, it’s very much going to be hand-hand urban fighting. There will be collateral damage, there will be civilian deaths.
Photo: US Navy SEALs, Remote Training Facility, by Eric S Logsdon, Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs Office 2004.