Iraqi forces continue to make gains against ISIS in west Mosul liberating civilians who have been trapped by the crossfire and desperate militants.
Momentum and morale is high as the Joint Forces Command execute their daily plans, with the goal to fully liberate Mosul in just over a week looking ever more probable. ISIS only currently control less than 10% of Mosul which equates to a 12km sq territory. They have been completely surrounded by Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) who are making significant gains in the north west of the Old City. As the Iraqi Spokesperson for the International Coalition against ISIS said during a press conference, “we have opened a large front against the enemy since operations started for the northwest front”.
The operations to liberate Mosul receive air support from the international coalition, allowing Iraqi forces to advance into the city faster and with fewer losses. The dual use of air and ground offensives have proved a lethal combination which ISIS militants have been helpless against. In response, militants have resorted to using suicide bombs and human shields to in a last ditch attempt to keep the ISF at bay.
More than half a million of the city’s population have been displaced as a result of military operations, with 250,000 still remaining trapped under the grip of the militants. It is their presence as well as the tight and compact streets that contributes to the slowdown of military operations.
As General Abdul Ghani says, “our progress is slow to save our families but we are achieving the desired goals. After this day they have only two options: either death or raising the white flag, no other options are available”.