Mosul Campaign Day 70, Dec 25, 2016
There was heavy fighting across east Mosul for the last two days. On December 24 there were clashes in eight neighborhoods. December 25 there were attacks in five areas of the city that included at least four car bombs. The Islamic State also carried out operations against the Hashd west of Tal Afar and in the south in Albu Saif with another two vehicle bombs being destroyed. The Golden Division also went on the offensive for the first time in almost a week attacking the Quds neighborhood that had been freed twice before. Other units were clearing freed areas of IEDs. The U.S. also shelled Mosul for the first time. Finally, an air strike was blamed for killing 20 civilians and wounding 55 in the western half of the city.
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.
Ninewa officials criticized a recent push on the northern front. On December 23 the 16th Division took the police academy, the vehicle registration building and a cement factory. Former governor Nujafi and members of his Hashd al-Watani claimed the army shelled a neighborhood that was already freed during the operation causing civilian casualties.
Al Alam, “2 Senior ISIL Commanders Killed in Iraqi Missile Strikes on Mosul,” 12/25/16
– “Bombings, Mortar Attacks Claim 10 Lives Across Iraq,” 12/24/16
Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul: Nov. 1, 2016,” 11/1/16
Al Maalomah, “Information published by Ninewa, we are coming on daily operations,” 12/25/16
Al Mada, “Changes to Mosul plan call for the use of the popular crowd and 5 thousand U.S. troops,” 12/25/16
Al Masalah, “Killed 21 terrorists and foiled Daesh attack west of Tal Afar,” 12/25/16
NINA, “Iraqi Forces Repel Sevearl Attacks To Daesh On Zaytoon And Police Academy In Mosul,” 12/24/16
– “Lt. Gen. Saadi Announces Starting The Second Phase Of Liberating Remaining Neighborhoods In Mosul,” 12/24/16
Rudaw, “Iraqi troops gearing up for second phase of Mosul offensive,” 12/25/16
Sotaliraq, “Iraqi forces stormed Quds east Mosul,” 12/25/16
– “Killing 20 civilians in an air strike on popular market in western Mosul,” 12/25/16
Al Sumaria, “A break out of fighting by Counter Terrorism in Jerusalem neighborhood In Left Coast Mosul,” 12/25/16
Xinhua, “Iraqi forces free more districts in eastern Mosul,” 11/4/16