The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reached the Tigris River yesterday, and now are pushing south towards the last areas of the city held by the Islamic State. Depending upon the source there are either 5 or 7 neighborhoods left under Islamic State control. The Army’s 9th Division and 16th Divisions, the Golden Division, and the Rapid Reaction Division all pushed into the Shifa neighborhood, which the ISF claimed it freed back in March. There was also fighting in Hawi Kanisa, which has been declared cleared of insurgents twice before, and in the Old City. The army warned that taking the Old City the largest section left could take longer than excepted. The deputy head of the army’s 9th Brigade hoped that would be two weeks. Earlier the ISF claimed they could finish operations before the start of Ramadan which is the fourth week of May. That doesn't seem possible. The ISF also built a bridge across the Tigris at the Hawi Kanisa neighborhood. That will be used to shift forces from the east to west and allow civilians to escape. There’s no timeline when offensive operations will restart to take the remaining districts, but it probably won’t be long.
In western Ninewa Qayrawan was taken by the Hashd. That was their first major goal. Now they will move onto Baaj and then the Syrian border. There was fresh criticism as well. A former Kurdish parliamentarian accused the Hashd of working for Iran and creating a land bridge across Iraq to Syria. The Kurds are opposed to the Hashd presence in the area because it complicates their attempt to re-assert control over the Sinjar district. Many of the Hashd forces are anti-Kurd as well. So far this has just been a war of words, but things could escalate.
Finally, the Iraqi government opened a new camp south of Mosul, Al Salamiya 1. It will be run by the United Nations, and has a capacity of 11,000. All of the displaced from the city are sent south. The majority end up staying in the camps there. This is a huge problem because all of them are full or over capacity. There is room in camps to the east and north of Mosul, but the government isn’t informing people about them, nor providing transportation to get there.
Anadolu Agency, “Iraqi forces take center of Qayrawan district in Mosul,” 5/23/17
Baghdad Post, “Only 7 neighborhoods ‘not liberated’ in Mosul’s right bank – official,” 5/23/17
- "Security forces making progress in northern, western axes of Mosul," 5/11/17
Bas News, “Hashd Al-Shaabi’s Deployment in Yezidi Areas Part of Iran’s Agenda: Official,” 5/23/17
Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul: May 23, 2017,” 5/23/17
Mostafa, Nehal, “New bridge reunites Mosul as Iraqi forces gear up for final assault,” Iraqi News, 5/23/17
NINA, "Security Forces Impose Full Control Over The Central Mosul," 3/14/17
Reuters, “New bridge reunits Mosul as Iraqi forces gear up for final assault,” 5/23/17
Rudaw, "Hashd al-Shaabi controls road into Shingal, Iraqi forces take districts in Mosul," 5/13/17
- "Hashd al-Shaabi declares it controlled Qairawan south of Shingal," 5/23/17
- “Trapped civilians complicate gains amid violent clashes in west Mosul,” 5/23/17
Shafaaq News, “URGENT: Iraqi forces destroy the last positions in northwest Mosul,” 5/23/17
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, “New UNHCR camp opens in response to surge in West Mosul displacement,” 5/23/17