By November 6, the joint anti-ISIS forces – the Iraqi military, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Kurdish Peshmerga, supported by the US-led coalition air power and special forces – have not achieved the goal of encircling the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul in the Nineveh Governorate of Iraq.
The Iraqi military and the PMU have achnieved some important gains southwest and east of Mosul. However, this has not been enough to cut the city off ISIS units deployed in the rest of Nineveh. Another important issue is that Peshmerga forces are not going to participate in the storm of the city.
The PMU and the Iraqi military will need to re-seize from ISIS the western Mosul countryside (including 2 important roads) before they will be able to launch a full-scale operation to liberate the city itself.
Now, the military operations in the eastern outskirts of the ISIS-controlled city could be described as limited because any major push inside Mosul from one direction will lead for sure to significant casualties among the Iraqi military servicemen. On November 5, ISIS units launched a series of counter-attacks in Mosul’s eastern edges, engaging the Iraqi special forces and army in heavy firefights. The main developments took place in the Gogjali area and in the al-Bakr neighbourhood. Suicide bombers and ambushes in the urban area were the main tools of ISIS.
This fact is in contrary to the all mainstream propaganda about developments in the city and shows that the advancing forces will face a stiff pressure from the terrorist group and suffer significant casualties (the infographics above depicts the recent casualties of anit-ISIS forces in Mosul’s eastern outskirts). The Western media also noted that ISIS also seized a banch of military equipment and anti-tank guided missiles from the Iraqi military.
Strategically, ISIS has little chances to defend the city from the superior forces, supported by the US-led coalition airpower, special forces units and artillery. However, the operation to liberate Mosul from ISIS will not be a pleasure cruise as the Pentagon wants the audience to believe.
Meanwhile, Turkey continued military build-up at the Iraqi border with the second military convoy arrived the Silopi district, 150 km north of the Iraqi city of Tal Afar (mostly populated by Turkmens that Ankara sees a tool of influence in Iraq) that is located near Mosul. The Ankara regime believes that the ongoing military build up will allow it to take ‘its part’ from the results of Mosul operation. However, this idea increases Turkey’s tensions with the legal Iraqi government in Baghdad and could lead to an additional military escalation in the region.