There was continued talk of the new phase of the Mosul campaign in Iraqi papers. General Fazi Barwari of the Golden Division made the bold prediction that all of east Mosul would be freed by the end of the year. Only about 40% of that section of the city is currently occupied so claiming they would go through the remaining 60% in six days is a little unbelievable. A member of the Hasdh al-Watani, run by former Ninewa governor Atheel Nujafi and backed by Turkey, told the press that the new campaign was supposed to start on December 24, but bad weather pushed it back.
Russian troops have found a number of mass graves in the recently liberated Syrian city of Aleppo, which contained remains of bodies with signs of torture and mutilation at the hands of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists.
Lieutenant General U.S. army Stephen Townsend, who heads the joint command of coalition forces in Iraq, spoke on the topic of long-term war against the Caliphate. It is worth Recalling that, initially, Townsend was a very optimistic look at the assault on Mosul, but after the first failure, began to adjust their forecasts, saying that 2 weeks to take Mosul will not work. When these deadlines have passed, he declared that the Caliphate was inventive enemy and easily take the city will not work, and in early December, and even stated on the underestimation of the Caliphate and that the storm could take months.
Apparently until a thorough analysis of fragments to determine the presence/absence of traces of the explosion and information from “black boxes” to reliably say what exactly killed the Tu-154 will be difficult.
Syrian sources say that major forces moved from Aleppo to the South of al-Khader (tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery, vehicles and infantry) that indicates the possible activation of the front South of Aleppo (the main forces there are “Hezbollah”, “Harakat al-Nogba”, various Shiite groups and separate parts of the SAA, as well as the Iranians). SAA also issued an ultimatum to the militants in Residence with simple and clear choice – that they leave by themselves or they will get lots of help with that. You can say that they plan a large-scale operation in order to get to the highway Aleppo-HOMS on a broad front and break through the defenses of the militants on the line of al-Je-al-Carasso-Khan-Fog – Rashidin. Will this serve to ensure the safety of Aleppo, or we will see the implementation of more ambitious plans related to an advance in Idlib, we will see in the next couple of weeks. It is highly likely that before the inauguration of the trump, we will see at least one large-scale operation in the area of Aleppo.
The last 3 days fighting in the area of Tiyas are in a positional stage, the initiative of the DAESH fighters was extinguished and thus operational crisis that emerged after the defeat at Palmyra can be considered dealt with. Now we have to prepare the preconditions for a counteroffensive and to follow the activity of “black” from the South, as they do not stop attempts to circumvent the base from the South via al-Sharif and to go to the track Verglas-Ties.
An interesting collection of photos of French special forces fighting in Iraq. The photo below shows the French subsidiary acting in conjunction with Iraqi army and Peshmerga in the Kirkuk area and to the North of Mosul.