nsnbc : Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati, the head of Iraq’s counter-terrorism service (CTS) said Iraqi forces seized around 70 percent of eastern Mosul ISIL militants. He also praised the cooperation of residents who are aiding the forces in the advances. The operation to liberate ISIL from the city of Mosul is now in its 12th week. A renewed push by coalition forces initiated within the last days has yielded substantial results despite fierce resistance. Shaghati said: “Roughly 65-70 percent of the eastern side has been liberated. … I think in the coming few days we will see the full liberation of the eastern side”.
However, the western side of the city remains firmly under ISIL control. Satellite images show that ISIL has flattened everything outside its western defense positions, creating a litteral killing field that has prevented advances from the west. In other words, Iraqi and allied troops have to use air superiority, which will result in civilian casualties, and have to fight their way through the city from the east, street by street, block by block, and house to house. Shaghati also stressed that ISIL has hundreds of suicide car bombs ready for a final standoff. One of the reasons for the successful recent advances is that ground troops have improved their capacity in fighting off suicide car bombers.
The battle involves a 100,000-strong ground force of Iraqi government troops, members of the autonomous Kurdish security forces and mainly Shi’ite militiamen, plus Iraqi and allied air forces. Although vastly outnumbered, the militants have used the urban terrain to their advantage, concealing car bombs in narrow alleys, posting snipers on tall buildings with civilians on lower floors and using tunnels to surface for ambush attacks. Moreover, ISIL fighters have embedded themselves among the local population, thus limiting the use of heavy artillery and air strikes against them. Over 150,000 non-combatant civilians have been displaced by the fighting. CH/L – nsnbc 05.01.2017 The post 65 – 70 % of Eastern Mosul Liberated from ISIL: Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati appeared first on nsnbc international.
Source: NSNBC International