Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Eastern Mosul liberated? That was the relatively easy part...across the river is where it'll be a meat grinder!

via DoD Buzz.
The U.S. military on Tuesday backed up Iraqi claims that eastern Mosul has been liberated after 100 days of urban combat marked by incessant ISIS counterattacks, more than 550 U.S. airstrikes, lulls in the fighting and tactical resets.
After a meeting Monday in Baghdad with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, the deputy speaker of Parliament, said, “We completed the total liberation of the left bank of Mosul and this is a gift to the Iraqi people.”
In statements Tuesday, Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said that clearing operations are still underway in the eastern half of the city, which is split by the Tigris River, and warned of tougher fighting ahead in the more densely populated western sector.
However, the progress thus far is “a monumental achievement for not only the Iraqi Security Forces and sovereign government of Iraq, but all Iraqi people,” he said.
“This would have been a difficult task for any army in the world,” Townsend said of the Mosul offensive to oust the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that began Oct. 17.
“And to see how far the Iraqis have come since 2014, not only militarily, but in their ability to put their differences aside and focus on a common enemy, gives real hope to the people of Iraq that — after years of fighting and instability — peace and security are attainable,” he said.
Townsend cautioned that there is a “long way to go” before Mosul is fully liberated. “The fight for western Mosul is likely to be even tougher than the eastern side,” he said.
The first few weeks of the Mosul offensive focused on clearing the outskirts and isolating the city, with the ISF pushing from the south and Kurdish Peshmerga forces from the east and north.
Elite Iraqi Counter Terror Services units then passed through Kurdish lines to make the first attacks into the city, but the drive frequently stalled as ISIS attacked with car bombs, or Vehicle Borne Improvised Exploding Devices. The VBIED attacks averaged five per day, the U.S. said.
U.S. officials also said that ISIS has mounted what was described as a “three-dimensional defense — from rooftops, from the streets, and from a maze of tunnels.
Story here.

Unless we're seeing pics then I have a hard time getting excited about this conflict.  We're so deep into  a propaganda campaign when it comes to information about the fighting that its anyone's guess as to what's what.

But I can tell you this.  If they're claiming to have captured Eastern Mosul then that's just the beginning of the beginning.  Cross the Tigrus and enter the Western part of the city.

That's where the fanatical fight will happen.

That's when that 3d war becomes even more hellish (this type fight was predicted over 20 years ago by General Krulak...the only difference is that the Iraqis aren't trying to deal with refugees on the way in like US forces would be forced to by either the news media or the new camp followers the NGOs).

What am I looking for?  I want to see if the Iraqi Golden Brigade will lead the fight or if they're going to have to be replaced in the line.  They predicted that unit would be destroyed in this fight and everything I've read seems to indicate they're inches away from being combat ineffective.

We'll see what we'll see.

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