Battle for #Mosul Continues Against Fierce #ISIS Opposition
ISIS Hold on Mosul Weakening
Momentum is on the side of the Iraqi security forces as they continue to impose their will on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL/ISIS) fighters while ISIL resorts to increasingly desparate tactics to keep Mosul in their grip, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told Pentagon reporters.
Scorched-Earth Tactics Target Civilians
Speaking by teleconference from Baghdad, US Air Force Col. John Dorrian said the Iraqis are holding firm, despite ISIL firing indiscriminately into civilian areas, using civilians as human shields, and continuing to destroy many of the structures they occupy “in the type of scorched-earth attacks that we’ve seen in other areas that they’ve held.”
Liberation of Mosul Inevitable
Such tactics are not working for ISIS, said the colonel, who predicted more hard fighting in the days ahead. However, Dorian was optimistic:
It’s just a matter of time until all of Mosul is free and stability operations can gather momentum throughout the city.
With the counterattack to liberate west Mosul from ISIS control in its 25th day, Dorrian noted, the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service, emergency response division and federal police are operating in the dense urban terrain in the city, while to the west, the 9th Iraqi Army Division continues clearing in the vicinity of Badush and along the main route out of Mosul toward Tal Afar.
“East of the Tigris on the northern part of the city, the 16th Iraqi Army Division retains their control of a major water treatment plant and cleared along the Tigris River,” the colonel said.
And, in spite of spotty weather, the coalition continues airstrikes, he said.
Source: US Department of Defense