Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 199, May 3, 2017


The Iraqi forces (ISF) are still stuck in the Old City district of west Mosul. The Rapid Reaction Division and Federal Police attacked the Maidan neighborhood. The police were said to have taken some streets in the Old City. The Joint Operations Command also claimed that a new push was being planned into the district. The ISF are always talking about a new offensive to take the Old City however. That area was attacked in March, and little headway has been made since then.

More civilian casualties were reported. The Islamic State fired mortars into west Mosul killing four and wounding 2. The insurgents executed another 20 who were attempting to flee and hung their bodies on poles to intimidate others. There was another claim of a chemical attack as well. Nearly every week there are similar stories, but they are never confirmed.

Despite earlier denials, Ninewa officials have finally admitted there is no plan to rebuild Mosul and Ninewa in general. When east Mosul was liberated in January some residents began complaining that they were getting little help from the authorities to rebuild. Ninewa officials assured them not only they, but Baghdad had a plan for reconstruction. Reuters talked with the deputy chairman of the Ninewa council who revealed the provincial government is still working on a five year agenda for rebuilding. More importantly he told Reuters there is no money for whatever they come up with. He complained that Baghdad had not given Ninewa adequate funds for its overall budget, and didn’t expect more to be coming.

USA Today talked with members of the Mosul Battalions, which was part of the resistance movement inside the city. There were various groups carrying out assassinations, shootings, bombings, and grafting for months before the Battle for Mosul began. They probably killed and wounded hundreds of IS members in the process. They also provided intelligence to the Iraqi forces. Despite that, they were never able to present a serious challenge to the militants control of the city. At the same time, it dispelled the myth prevalent within Iraq that the population of Mosul were all supportive of the Islamic State.

Reuters went to the Khazir displaced camp where people were struggling to support themselves. It interviewed several residents. One man was a barber, another fixed shoes. These odd jobs were about all they could find. The lack of employment is one of the major reasons why people do not want to stay in these camps. Unfortunately, when they leave and go back to their homes, there is little in the way of jobs either.

SOURCES

Aboulenein, Ahmed, “Five years, billions of dollars needed to rebuild Mosul: officials,” Reuters, 5/3/17

Fisch, Yesica, “Iraqis in ‘liberated’ Mosul want services restored,” Associated Press, 4/13/17

Georgy, Michael, “Freed from jihadists, Mosul residents focus fury on Iraqi politicians,” Reuters, 2/3/17

Hamed, Muhammad, “Iraqi camp families search for ways to make a living,” Reuters, 5/3/17

Iraq Oil Report, "Inside Mosul: May 3, 2017," 5/3/17

Kossov, Igor, “Meet the men who fought ISIS from inside Mosul,” USA Today, 5/2/17

MacDiarmid, Campbell, Kenner, David, “Goodbye, Islamic State, Hello, Anarchy,” Foreign Policy, 3/24/17

New Sabah, “Military preparations to launch new operation to resolve the battle of Mosul,” 5/3/17

Rasheed, Ahmed, “Factbox: Mosul’s leaning minaret at risk as battle rages,” Reuters, 5/3/17

Reuters, “Iraqi forces battle to recapture Mosul mosque,” 5/3/17

Rojkan, Mira, "IS Once Again Attacks Civilians in Mosul with Chemical Weapons," Bas News, 5/3/17

Rubin, Trudy, “Worldview: Rubin: Surviving in ISIS-occupied Mosul,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/15/17

Shafaaq News, “Military preparations to attack the defenses in the Old City of Mosul,” 5/3/17

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update – 2 May 2017,” 5/2/17


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