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.
Control of Terrain in Iraq
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.
ISIS launched a major counter-attack in Kirkuk Province in response to advances by Iraqi and Kurdish security forces towards Mosul on October 20 and 21.
The Coalition-led operation to secure Mosul from ISIS advanced towards the city from two directions in the first 72 hours as of October 19, 2016. U.S. Forces are participating in the operation as advisers and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs).
Iraqi and regional actors are preparing to assist with or spoil the Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF) operation to retake Mosul and its environs from ISIS. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the start of operations to retake the city on October 17.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and tribal fighters recaptured Sharqat on September 22.
The ISF recaptured the city of Qayyarah on August 25 following more than a month of operations to secure terrain on the southern and western outskirts of the city after security forces seized the Qayyarah Airbase on July 9. In addition, the Waleed Broder Crossing was retaken and Iraqi Peshmerga launched clearing operations SE of Mosul.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization completed the operation to recapture Fallujah on June 26, securing the city and its environs from ISIS control. The operation, which began on May 23, breached the city limits on June 8 and secured the government complex on June 17.