Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 172-173, Apr 6-7, 2017


Most of the Iraqi advances in Mosul have been in the west such as Yarmouk (far left), which was just captured by the Golden Division (Institute for the Study of War)

The Iraqi forces (ISF) have been preparing for a new offensive in west Mosul. That has resulted in a relative pause in operations. On April 6 the Golden Division did take Yarmouk 2 in the western side of the city. Otherwise the ISF were preparing to storm the Old City in the east along the Tigris River. General Najim Abdullah al-Jabouri of the Ninewa Operations Command said that the attack upon the Old City would rely less on airstrikes due to civilian casualties.

The 9th Division and Hashd cleared three more cities to the west of Mosul. Those units were originally scheduled to open a new front in Mosul, but now appear to be focused upon cutting off escape routes from the city.

A new casualty figure was released for the Jadida incident. A Lieutenant Colonel from the Civil Defense forces, which dig people out of the rubble in Mosul, said that 278 bodies had been found at the site. While the Americans have admitted that a Coalition air strike was likely responsible, the Iraqis are still denying that, and downplaying the casualties. The Defense Ministry claims there was no air strike, and a spokesman from the Golden Division said only 100-130 people died. This is part of pattern by the Iraqi government to discredit any stories that talk about heavy casualties in the war against the Islamic State.

From April 6-7 there were more attacks on civilians. An air strike was blamed for 16 deaths, and a Coalition strike for 3 more in west Mosul. The Islamic State hit 6 neighborhoods, including one in the liberated east with mortars leaving 13 fatalities and 30 injured. The group executed another 3 for attempting to escape its grasp.

The victims of the battle are overwhelming the health facilities in Ninewa and Kurdistan. The manager of a state hospital in Irbil said there was no room in the intensive care unit due to displaced patients from Mosul. Many are going to private clinics because the public hospitals are full. To the south of Mosul in the town of Athbah there is a field hospital. A nurse said that besides wounds from the fighting, almost all the patients were suffering from malnutrition. This was a sign of the severe shortages within Mosul.

The insurgents were still launching futile attacks upon the ISF to the west of Mosul. 2-3 towns were assaulted by infantry and car bombs. Usually these happen in open country and are easily destroyed.

The Associated Press visited the town of Hamdaniya, which was freed five months ago. The town is to the east of Mosul. The village is largely abandoned. Some residents talked about having nothing to go back to, while others blamed the government for not providing any aid or rebuilding. This is true of many more towns in Ninewa that have been freed. Few people have returned, and many of them have heavy damage, which is not being repaired because the government is too busy with the war, lacks the funds or interest right now.

The displacement crisis continued. Up to 15,000 are reaching Hamam al-Alil south of Mosul each day, which is the main screening center. Many are now staying in the town in tents rather than going to camps, which are overflowing. A new camp was opened in the area, and filled in two days. The U.N. recently said that it doesn't have the resources to serve all of the people coming out of the city, and that the international community is not providing enough help either. After a two-month pause a large number of people are going back to east Mosul. Around 5,800 went there in the last few days. Many said they were leaving because there was no work in the camps and were concerned about stories of looting inside the city. A total of 86,000 have returned in Ninewa overall. There is a constant movement of people in and out of the city, which is usually determined by the level of violence going on.

SOURCES

Baghdad Post, "16 killed in airstrikes in Mosul's right bank," 4/6/17

Bas News, “Iraqi Forces Recapture Another District from IS in Western Anbar,” 4/6/17

Fache, Wilson with Faraj, Salam, "Iraqi helicopter downed in fight to retake Mosul," Agence France Presse, 4/6/17

Al Forat, "The popular crowd destroys a car bomb southwest of Mosul,' 4/6/17
- "The popular crowd kills 30 thugs and destroys three car bomb west of Mosul,' 4/6/17

Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul: April 6, 2017," 4/6/17

Al Maalomah, "The death of three people from one family in bombing by international coalition in Mosul," 4/6/17

Al Mada, “The liberation of a neighborhood in western Mosul after two weeks of slow operations,” 4/6/17

Mustafa, Nehal, “Besieged residents in Mosul east cats, grass to survive,” Iraqi News, 4/6/17
- "PMUs kill 30 IS militants, confront attack, western Mosul," Iraqi News, 4/6/17

Neuhof, Florian, “Mosul Has Become History’s Greatest Hostage Crisis,” Daily Beast, 4/5/17

New Sabah, “Joint Operations develop new military plans to liberate what remains of West Mosul,” 4/7/17

Rudaw, "Iraqi military helicopter shot down over Mosul skies," 4/6/17

Shafaaq News, "Eight people were killed and wounded, including children, in a house in Mosul," 4/6/17
- “This disrupts the advance of troops in the Old City of Mosul,” 4/6/17
- "Worshipers injured by shelling targeting liberated Mosul," 4/7/17

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “Mosul Weekly Protection Update, 25-31 March, 2017,” 3/31/17

Xinhua, “Iraqi forces recapture neighborhood from IS in western Mosul,” 4/6/17


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