Thursday, December 08, 2016

Iraqi Forces retreat after ISIS counterattack on seized hospital.

via Reuters
Iraqi troops who seized a hospital deep inside Mosul believed to be used as an Islamic State military base have retreated after a fierce counter-attack, giving up some of their biggest gains in a hard-fought seven-week campaign to recapture the city.
The soldiers seized Salam hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river running through central Mosul, on Tuesday but pulled back the next day after they were hit by six suicide car bombs and "heavy enemy fire", according to a statement by the U.S.-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces.
Coalition warplanes, at Iraq's request, also struck a building inside the hospital complex from which the militants were firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, it said.
Tuesday's rapid advance into the Wahda neighborhood where the hospital is located marked a change of tactics after a month of grueling fighting in east Mosul, in which the army has sought to capture and clear neighborhoods block by block.
And this.
Soldiers from the army's Ninth Armored division were left exposed on Tuesday after punching into the Wahda neighborhood.
"When we advanced first into Wahda, Daesh (Islamic State) showed little resistance and we thought they had fled," an officer briefed on the operation told Reuters by telephone. "But once we took over the hospital, the gates of hell opened wide".
"They started to appear and attack from every corner, every street and every house near the hospital," said the officer who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He said insurgents may also have used a tunnel network reaching into the hospital complex itself.
Iraqi military spokesmen have said little about the fighting around the hospital, stressing instead gains they said were being made in other parts of east Mosul, including the Ilam neighborhood a few districts northeast.
Brigadier-General Yahya Rasoul, a spokesman for Iraq's joint operations command, said on Wednesday "operations are continuing" around Wahda. He could not immediately be contacted on Thursday.
The statement by the coalition said Iraqi troops "fought off several counter-attacks and six VBIEDs (car bombs) ... before retrograding a short distance, under heavy enemy fire".
The Iraqi officer said that when the troops were inside the hospital complex, fighting off the militants, they came under attack from suicide bombers who he said either infiltrated through tunnels or had been hiding in the hospital grounds.
"We don't know, they were like ghosts," he said.
Iraq does not give casualty figures or report on its equipment losses, but the officer said 20 soldiers were killed and around 20 armored vehicles were destroyed or damaged.

This sounds bad.

ISIS is giving much better in Mosul than they are in Aleppo.  I wonder why?  Regardless it appears that ISIS have them by the balls, are hugged in tight and have figured out a way to nullify coalition air power.

Want a terrible prediction?

Russia/Iran/Syria will defeat ISIS in Syria before Iraq/Coalition get the job done in Iraq.  We don't have a lack of expertise, fighting spirit or equipment.  We have a lack of strategic planning (I guess to an extent tactical planning too).

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