Saturday, November 5, 2016
Mosul Campaign Day Nineteen, Nov 4, 2016
On November 4 several new neighborhoods in southeast Mosul were entered. The towns and eastern Mosul neighborhoods of Tahrir, Zahara, Malaeen, Samah, Khazraa, Karakul, Quds, and Karama were all attacked. Forces had to withdraw from Karama after heavy resistance by the Islamic State. There was on going fighting in Intisar as well that was entered yesterday. The Golden Division later claimed that Aden, Samah, Karkukli, Khadra, Ikhaa, Quds, Malaeen and the town of Gogjali were freed, although a resident told Reuters that one of those was still contested.
During the days fighting another journalist was wounded. As usual the government is suppressing its losses so occasional news reports are the only source for casualties, and those are few and far between.
The United Nations said that IS executed 230 people including 50 of its own members for desertion in Mosul recently. It also noted that the group forced around 1,600 people from Hamam al-Alil to Tal Afar to be used as human shields. Human Rights Watch interviewed several people form towns southeast of Mosul who had been forced out of their homes by the Islamic State when then government offensive began. They talked about how entire villages were emptied and members of the security forces were taken away and likely executed.
Whenever a new area is reached there is a general exodus of people to get away from the fighting. the International Organization for Migration reported 22,224 people had been displaced so far. Many people were flowing out of eastern and southeastern Mosul now that the government forces had reached those areas. A U.N. official for example, counted around 5,000 fleeing through Gogjali in the east.
Associated Press, “The Latest: 5 Iraqi soldiers killed as Mosul battle rages on,” 11/4/16
Bas News, “Iraqi Army Fully Liberates Shallalat District in Northern Mosul,” 11/1/16
BBC, “Mosul battle: Iraqi army fights its way into new suburb,” 11/4/16
Benhaida, Sarah, “Elite Iraq forces advance into Mosul, face tough resistance,” Agence France Presse, 11/4/16
Buratha News, “Recent development in the field, until 18:50 am Friday 04 11 2016,” 11/4/16
Georgy, Michael, “Iraqi forces push deeper into eastern Mosul,” Reuters, 11/4/16
Human Rights Watch, “Iraq: Feared ISIS Use of ‘Human Shields,’ Executions,” 11/4/16
Al Mada, “Army frees two villages south of Hamam al-Alil and raised Iraqi flag over them,” 11/4/16
Morris, Loveday and Booth, William, “Iraqi forces advance into six new neighborhoods in east Mosul,” Washington Post, 11/4/16
Rudaw, “Iraqi forces retake new district in Mosul as house to house search for militants intensifies,” 11/4/16
Xinhua, “Iraqi forces free more districts in eastern Mosul,” 11/4/16
LIVE UPDATES: The fight for Mosul day 20
By Rudaw 1 hour ago
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and top Kurdish officials are discussing battlefield victories, collaboration between the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga, and the rebuilding of towns and villages liberated in the Mosul offensive, the chief of staff of the Kurdistan’s Region’s Presidency said.
Dr. Fuad Hussein told reporters, after Abadi arrived in Erbil on an unannounced visit late Saturday and went into a dinner meeting at the airport with Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barazani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, that other topics include the return of displaced persons to their towns and villages.
“According to the military plan, the Peshmerga will not take part in the operation to liberate Mosul city,” Hussein told reporters.
He added that the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary source, which is fighting alongside the Iraqi Army, also will not enter the predominantly Sunni city.
Iraqi forces have liberated Hamam al-Alil, last town before Mosul, military says
Iraqi forces have liberated Hamam al-Alil, evicting ISIS from the last town on the southern front before Mosul, the Iraqi War Media Office announced late Saturday.
It said that the Iraqi flag was now flying at buildings in Hamam al-Alil.
Iraqi military announces further gains
Iraqi forces have entered the al-Entisar neighborhood on the left bank of Mosul, where fighting continues to clear ISIS militants from roads and buildings, the Iraqi War Media Office said late Saturday.
Further gains in Mosul by the anti-terrorism forces include al-Karama neighborhood, Al-Malaeen 3, the Green Apartments, al-Zahra, Karkukli, A’dan and al-Zahabi, the media office said in a statement.
It added that military engineers have installed a pontoon bridge on the great Zab river to connect forces in the north and south.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrives in Erbil on unannounced visit; received by Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Abadi is accompanied by several senior Iraqi military officials.
Ex-Nineveh governor: Mosul security should be in hands of Iraqi police and Nineveh Guards after liberation
Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Nineveh and commander of the Nineveh Guards, said that after the liberation of Mosul the Iraqi police and his own forces will be in charge of security in that city.
“After liberation of Mosul the Iraqi army should not stay long and should withdraw,” he told Rudaw on a visit to the Nawaran frontline. “The Nineveh Guards and Iraqi police should stay in charge of Mosul city and some parts of Nineveh province after liberation,” he said.
“The first brigade of the Nineveh Guards was deployed in Mosul dam, and now the second brigade is to be deployed in Shalalat, as we are now close to that frontline,” he said.
“The Peshmerga have provided a lot of facilitation for us. In fact, without their support we could not be successful,” he said, adding that “collaboration and coordination between us and the Peshmerga should continue.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Bartella, a Christian town 20 kilometers east of Mosul that was recently liberated from ISIS. Abadi said on his Facebook page that he “visited military units in Bartella today to learn about counter-terrorism developments on the ground.”
ISIS using motorcycles to avoid airstrikes in Hamam al-Alil
Heavy clashes are ongoing between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants inside Hamam al-Alil, Rudaw’s correspondent Nabard Hussein reported.
Iraqi forces have raised the national flag over the town’s government building, the Iraqi War Media Office said.
ISIS militants are using motorcycles as a means of transportation to avoid airstrikes.
They are also employing car bombs. Commander of Nineveh Operations Major General Najim al-Jabouri told Rudaw on Saturday that they have destroyed at least four car bombs in the Hamam al-Alil area.
Dark green – under Peshmerga control
Light green – encircled/battling by Peshmerga
Red – under Iraqi control
Pink – encircled/battling by Iraqi forces
Yellow – under Hashd al-Shaabi control
Orange – encircled/battling by Hashd al-Shaabi
Iraqi special forces liberated al-Zahra, northeastern Mosul
Iraqi Special Operations Forces have liberated the al-Zahra neighbourhood in northeastern Mosul, according to a video published on the forces’ official Facebook page.
The video claims to depict the first moments of the Iraqi forces inside al-Zahra neighbourhood, which they liberated after fierce fighting with ISIS, who used civilians as human shields, an Iraqi soldier detailed.
The forces freed some families and are now advancing, the soldier said.
Video: Iraqi Special Operations Forces
Iraqi forces raise Iraqi flag in Hamam al-Alil
Iraqi forces have entered the centre of Hamam al-Alil and have raised the Iraqi flag, the Iraqi War Media Cell reported.
Iraqi forces enter Hamam al-Alil
Iraqi forces have entered the town of Hamam al-Alil and are engaged in street fighting with ISIS miltiants, Rudaw’s correspondent Nabard Hussein reported on the scene.
He added that many civilians are believed to be in the town. Iraqi forces asked the civilians to stay where they are.
Mohamad Khalil, a Kurdish military expert, told Rudaw the liberation of the town will be significant for the Iraqi forces because of its militarily strategic location. He said it is close to a number of important sites, one of which is the Mosul airport, 18 kilometres northwest of Hamam al-Alil.
He added that the tribes in and around the town may make the operation easier for the advancing forces because ISIS had in the past executed hundreds of Iraqi forces who are originally from the area.
The recapture of Hamam al-Alil, Khalil noted, will give the upper hand to Iraqi forces in Mosul’s eastern neighborhoods on the left bank of the Tigris River when the time comes to advance on the city from the south.
Iraqi forces have liberated of the village of Sawadi, the agriculture college, and its surrounding areas on Saturday morning, and have encircled ISIS militants in the Hamam al-Alil market, the Iraqi War Media office reported.
The areas were liberated by the Iraqi federal police and the 15th Iraqi Division, supported by the Iraqi air force.
Watch: Iraqi forces on the outskirts of Hammam al-Alil on Saturday morning.
Iraqi forces are launching an assault on the town, south of Mosul, on three fronts.
Iraqi Federal Police begin three-front assault on Hamam al-Alil
Iraqi Federal Police have begun an assault on the town of Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, from three fronts to recapture it from ISIS, the force announced on its official Facebook page.
Watch: Iraqi forces on the outskirts of Hammam al-Alil on Saturday morning.
Clashes in Gogjali
The Iraqi forces are engaged in fierce fighting with ISIS militants in Gogjali district, on the eastern edge of Mosul, Rudaw’s correspondent Hiwa Husamaddin reported from the gate of the district.
He said the ISIS militants emerged from tunnels late at night and clashed with the Iraqi forces, and the clashes are still ongoing. As a result, Iraqi forces have prevented civilians and media from moving around the area.
Commander of the Iraqi counter-terror forces, Talib Kanani, told reporters in Gogjali on Tuesday that the district was fully under Iraqi army control.
Iraqi army is preparing to enter Hamam al-Alil today
The Iraqi army is preparing an offensive today to retake the town of Hamam al-Alil, 15 kilometres from the southern edge of Mosul, a commander on the ground told Rudaw on the condition of anonymity.
ISIS has reportedly brought thousands of civilians into the town to use as human shields. Last week, the population of the town of Hamam al-Alil had nearly tripled, from 23,000 to 60,000, according to UN figures.