The offensive in Mosul, viewed from space. Photo taken by Landsat satellite. In the front line cities and towns of the Caliphate is burning pits of oil, to which is added fires caused by the bombing of the American air force and NATO countries.
A night of massive artillery preparations and numerous air strikes began a General offensive in Mosul. The battle promises to be one of the most ambitious in the history of the Iraq war. 8-11 thousand fighters to defend the Caliphate of Mosul and its surrounding villages will be thrown against 34 to 42 thousand people and several hundred units of various equipment (tanks, armored combat vehicles, trucks), more than 130 guns, a few dozen aircraft and attack drones. Among the participants of the attack – the army and the Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, Shia militia of Iraq and US troops, France and Turkey. In addition, the air offensive will support the aircraft of other countries of the American coalition.
The commander of the Sunni forces in Bashiqa said that Turkish troops are only providing training for their forces and will not take part in the battle to liberate Mosul from Islamic State (ISIS).
“Turkey won’t take part in the Mosul battle, they only train us. We will join with the Iraqi army, federal police and Peshmerga forces and will take part in the battle and expel ISIS from Mosul,” General Mohammed Yahya, deputy commander of the Hashd al-Watani from Gudad military base in Bashiqa, northern Iraq, told Rudaw.
‘Now they’re using 1m-long Grad rockets, with a lot more of the harmful substances in the nose of the missile.
‘Most of the chemical weapons attacks on us happen near Mosul. This points to the gas bombs being produced there. Intelligence reports also say the chemistry department at Mosul University is being used to make chemical weapons.
IS will soon be able to inflict mass casualties
Yaver said the group had been weakened financially by the loss of many of its oil wells and was struggling to sell oil because its convoys have been targeted by U.S.-led international coalition forces in Iraq and by Russia in Syria.
He said that according to data Peshmerga Ministry, Daesh lost around 20,000 fighters in the past two years, bringing its total force to between 10,000 and 15,000.
Atheel al-Nujaifi, the head of Sunni group al-Hashd al-Watani, said they were 20 kilometers (around 13 miles) from Daesh’s stronghold Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, and were preparing for an operation to retake the city this year.
The clashes have killed more than 10 people. Fighting on the road between Baghdad and Kirkuk. The clash began with the undermining of the staff of one of the factions. The situation begins to deteriorate in other areas. Both sides use mortars and grenade launchers in densely populated areas. There are victims among civilians, including the wounded child.
Killed including the commanders of the opposing sides. Snipers do not allow to transport the injured to hospitals. The Kurds of Iraq and Syria, demand autonomy in the North. Visit the region of a delegation of officials from Baghdad to resolve the conflict. There are also reports about the transfer of reinforcements to the Kurdish forces.
“The Kurdish Peshmerga has enough soldiers, but we do not have enough weapons such as anti-aircraft guns, small arms, anti-tank weapons and ammunition,” he told Ria Novosti.Russia also aims to fortify its position in Kurdistan with Russian companies expanding their presence in the autonomous region, Morgunov said, adding this had been discussed with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and other authorities and officials.