Mosul Battle Report – May 16, 2017: PMU Pushing To Border With Syria

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Voiceover by Harold Hoover

Iraqi security forces (ISF) have continued putting pressure on ISIS terrorists in the western part of the Iraqi city of Mosul. Recently, ISF troops have recaptured the 17 Tamouz district, the Al-Aurabi district, and further advanced against ISIS in the Al-Rafaee and Old Mosul areas. Some 49 ISIS terrorists were killed and 4 SVBIEDs destroyed during the clashes. According to the Iraqi military, ISIS controls only 9% of the city of Mosul.

The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have liberated a notable number of villages from ISIS terrorists in the area southwest of Mosul. PMU fighters took control of Khilo, Tal Qassab, Karkash, Sultan, Tal sheik, Kabar, and other vilalges near the town of Qayrawan.

Earlier this month, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy Commander of the PMU, announced that the PMU is seeing the Syrian-Iraqi border as a strategic objective of their military operations against ISIS. Al-Muhandis pointed out that forces of the PMU will enter the Syrian territory only in case of full coordination between the Syrian and Iraqi governments, and confirmed the existence of official channels with the Syrian government in case of the PMU need to do this.

Thus, the PMU advance in the Qayrawan area could be seen as a preparation to further push to the Syrian border that will likely be synchronized with the Syrian military’s efforts in it’s own territory.

On Monday, reports appeared that Syrian government forces started a military operation against US-backed militant groups in the eastern Sweida countryside. According to pro-government sources, the goal of the Syrian forces effort is the al-Tanaf border crossing.

Some sources indicate that the PMU and the Syrian military may privately coordinate efforts in order to prevent the progress of Western-backed militant groups along the Syrian border.

About 150 servicemen of the US and UK special operations forces entered southern Syria in order to support a ‘rebel advance’ against ISIS in the area.

On Monday, Jaysh Mughawyr Al-Thurah, backed by the US and UK special operation forces, was in about 90km east of the government-held city of Palmyra in the province of Homs. Militants were advancing in the northwestern direction along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

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  • Bill Wilson

    SF sure does a clumsy job trying to discredit US operations against ISIS. If the US/FSA is advancing along the Iraq-Syria border then it would be in the south going northeast towards the river. The Iraq Army, SAA, Russia and the US have been working together to eliminate ISIS. Their current plan is to drive ISIS out of the Western Iraqi deserts into a long skinny pocket that has the Euphrates in the middle. ISIS won’t have any escape routes in any direction so will get wiped out by the SAA coming down from the north and the Iraqi Army from the south. The SDF has been holding ISIS in check along the tributary east of Deir Azzor and the east bank of the river. They may restart their advance down that river once ISIS goes into panic mode and starts withdrawing their fighters south towards Mayadin. The US/new FSA have ISIS blocked from going west and now are moving closer to the east to disrupt their movements even more. The ISIS units in the west and north are equally screwed since a few more advances by the SAA and SDF will cut them off from each other and will be stuck in villages along the main roads.

    • kome

      it’s funny that you seem very capable of reading maps but miserably impotent at putting anything you read into perspective ! what is ISIS ? how in the whole world are they able to wage a war for 6 f*** years ? why is US there ? what is US doing exactly ? what about everyone else, the Saudis, the Qataris ? inside the so called “US led coalition” ?

      Don’t try to lose anyone into your detailed mumbojumbo about how the US is fighting ISIS ; some of us started following these events right back in 1991, 2003, 2011, in places called Iraq, Libya … (for the uninformed it may seem unrelated, but if you dig not even deep, a clear picture emerges)

      • Bill Wilson

        ISIS is nothing more than a criminal organization created by former generals from Saddam’s military who were clever enough to rope AQ into their game. They got the Islamic fanatics do their dirty work just like the Mafia’s soldiers while they get the lion’s share of the spoils. They’ve written off Syria and Iraq as losses some time ago so have been setting up shop in Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan and beyond.

        • Canius

          Wrong. First, ISIS were founded in Syria, not in Iraq and only in a second moment, when ISIS overwhelmed other rebels factions in Syria, former generals of Republican Guard of Iraq joined its cause and allowed it to enter in Iraq. ISIS were “founded and funded” by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrein, UAE, USA and Turkey with anti-government function. When the fact that ISIS were not able to defeat the syrian army, with the same anti-government function, Turkey and USA started to fight ISIS, to conquest its territories and do not allow to the government to regain the syrian areas occupied by ISIS. Fight ISIS or arm ISIS for USA and Turkey is only a tool to overthrow the syrian government.

      • Jacek Wolski

        This root of the problem started in Afghanistan in December 1979 and has spread and been ongoing ever since.

        • zman

          Others might argue it began in 1947…others might say the beginning of the 20th century.

          • Jacek Wolski

            Others might say it began with Alexander the Great

    • EL ZORRO

      Bill Wilson: If the United States really want to eliminate I.S.I.S all it have to do is FORCE ISRAEL/SAUDI ARABIA/TURKEY/QATAR/JORDAN, to STOP SUPPLYING AND FINANCING I.S.I.S with weapons and INTERNATIONAL MERCENARIES…The U.S created the FSA(ALSO I.S.I.S) to implement their REGIMEN CHANGE in Syria, when the SAA start attacking the INTERNATIONAL MERCENARIES INVADERS CREATED BY THE UNITED STATES, the U.S is going to use that, as a excuse to INVADE SYRIA WITH U.S FORCES.

      • Bill Wilson

        Go sit on your sword.

        • zman

          You’re not related to Charlie Wilson are you?

    • zman

      How do you reconcile your version with the fact that the US was ‘fighting’ ISIS for 4 years, supposedly killing 100,000 ISIS and they only continued getting stronger? Then in less than 2 years, Russia/Syria/Iran killed far less, yet ISIS is now on the decline. Their (US) current plan has zip to do with killing or containing ISIS, it has everything to do with partitioning Syria. ISIS is their creation and foil. Is it any wonder that there were many reports of helicopters going in and out of Fallujah, ferrying terrorists to safety just before the push to liberate the city? Then almost miraculously, ISIS became much stronger in Deir Ezzor. All the ABC anti-Syrian groups in Syria at one time or another were/are in bed with ISIS. Any fighting between them either a sham or infighting over turf. The US is doing everything they can to prevent the Iraqi PMUs from linking with Syrian troops, because they know they will lose the territory they are now sitting on and any chance at partitioning. The US is not intent on destroying ISIS anytime soon, it would be the end of their (public) reason for being there.

  • Expo Marker

    Nobody should panic over the NSyA (New Syrian Army) advances, as they hold areas in the desert, and massive gains are easily reversable there.

  • paolo duchateau

    PMU are still going in Syria to help for deiir ar Zohr … u-s, Big Israêl will flee