Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mosul Campaign Day 197, May 1, 2017


The Iraqi forces (ISF) opened a new front in the Battle of Mosul. Over the weekend the Golden Division and Rapid Reaction Division (RRD) shifted forces from the center and east sections of west Mosul to the Badush district to the northwest of the city. On May 1, the RRD attacked the Haramat and July 17 neighborhoods from this new position. The Golden Division was still fighting over Zinjali, while the Federal Police were battling in Bab al-Jadid and Bab al-Baid in the Old City. The new operation fits in with the overall campaign plan for the police to hold down Islamic State fighters in the Old City while the rest of Mosul is liberated.

There was a story critical of the Federal Police’s role in the battle. The FP have the least amount of experience in urban fighting and have indiscriminately used artillery causing the destruction of property and civilian casualties in the Old City. There was talk of the Golden Division taking the lead in that neighborhood, but that didn’t happen. Similar criticism has been made of the FP before. The fact that they have been stuck in the Old City for almost two months now is leading to more of these types of articles.

Civilians continue to suffer in Mosul. The Islamic State carried out a wave of executions killing a total of 51 people. IS mortar fire left another 2 dead and 3 wounded. The overwhelming majority of casualties in the Mosul campaign have been civilians due to the increased use of airstrikes, artillery, the dense layout of the city, IS’s use of human shields, and its attacks upon civilians.

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq was complaining about Tal Afar again. Spokesman Jawad Talabawi claimed that international and regional pressure had stopped the Hashd from taking the town. He said that was a direct violation of Iraqi sovereignty. That was also the reason why the Hashd were heading for the Syrian border instead. Talabawi has been making these types of statements nearly every week. They represent the growing frustration the Hashd has been feeling as they have surrounded Tal Afar for months now, but have been blocked for entering it.

The United Nations announced that the recent trend of more people departing displaced camps than entering them has been reversed. From April 26 -27, 3,076 people arrived at camps east of Mosul, while only 1,069 left. There is a constant movement of people in and out of Mosul and the surrounding areas. For the last month there was a large number of returns, but that has apparently ended.

SOURCES

Bas News, "IS Executed 51 Civilians in Mosul," 5/1/17

Frantzman, Seth, “Mosul quietly fills with Iran-backed Shiite militias using battle for revenge on Sunnis,” Washington Times, 4/30/17

Al Maalomah, "Death and wounding of five civilians from one family in the Old City of West Mosul," 5/1/17
- “Popular crowd: the liberation of Tal Afar does not exceed ten days with our military capabilities,” 5/1/17

Masrala Arabia, “Why is there a delay in the battle for western Mosul?” 5/1/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, "Islamic State execute 10 for escaping western Mosul districts, assisting security," Iraqi News, 5/1/17

Mostafa, Nehal, “Iraqi troops say further progress made in central Mosul, IS snipers killed in the west,” Iraqi News, 5/1/17
- "Offensives begin to liberate two western Mosul districts," Iraqi News, 5/1/17
- “PM Abadi rejects PMUs participation in Tal Afar liberation,” Iraqi News, 5/1/17

New Sabah, “The joint forces begin the liberation of Haramat and July 17 neighborhoods in West Mosul,” 5/1/17

UN High Commissioner for Refguees, “Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update – 30 April 2017,” 4/30/17

Xinhua, “Iraqi forces gain ground, as battles continue against IS militants in western Mosul,” 5/1/17

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