The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) made limited gains in Mosul from November 28 to December 5, but moved additional assets from Baghdad into the region in order to reinforce current lines of effort in Mosul and improve security in southern Ninewa.
Control of Terrain in Iraq
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) made limited gains in eastern Mosul from November 22 to 28 as it struggled to identify and target ISIS militants operating among the significant civilian population remaining in the city. Meanwhile, Iraqi Shi’a militias turned their offensive towards remaining ISIS-held cities in far western Ninewa province, as Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced that the Iraqi army and police would recapture Tel Afar.
The campaign for Mosul entered its second month, with current momentum indicating that the operation will last into January 2017. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) remained entrenched in eastern Mosul while facing fierce ISIS resistance from November 16 to 21, and Shi’a militias are on the outskirts of Tel Afar after seizing the nearby airbase on November 16.
As the fight between the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and ISIS in and around Mosul compresses, the high stakes of the operation and close-contact warfare are increasingly placing Mosul’s civilian population in the crossfire.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) moved deeper into Mosul’s eastern neighborhoods as the ISF and Peshmerga made significant gains on Mosul’s eastern and southern axes in an effort to encircle the city.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) began advancing into Mosul’s eastern and southeastern neighborhoods on November 1-3, marking the first time the ISF has had any presence in the city since ISIS captured it in mid-2014.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reached Mosul’s eastern city limits on October 31 to begin the initial push into the city. Meanwhile, Iraqi Shi’a militias, including Iranian proxies and U.S.-designated terrorist groups, opened up a western axis on October 29 with the intention to retake Tel Afar, west of Mosul.
Operations to retake Mosul have made minimal progress since the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) announced an operational pause on October 25 in order for the five axes approaching Mosul to re-sync before advances into the city limits begin.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Peshmerga forces launched operations from eastern and southern axes to recapture Mosul and Ninewa province on October 17.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Peshmerga contested ISIS’s hold over significant urban centers in Mosul’s environs from October 22-24, 2016. In response, ISIS continued to launch suicide attacks against advancing security forces and to attack far-flung areas in a diversionary tactic.