The Stratfor analytic agency has published satellite imagery, showing a strong defensive line, built by Islamic State (IS) terrorists along the southern edge of the Mosul’s center.
The Iraqi Army and its allies, approaching Mosul from the east, have already entered the city’s outskirts. However, the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, stationed in the heart of the Iraqi city, has started to prepare for the forthcoming battle. The Stratfor analytic agency published satellite imagery, obtained by AllSource Analysis, which show that terrorists have built a strong defensive line along the southern edge of the Mosul’s center.
The photos, represented by the above, were taken on October 31. As Stratfor’s experts noted, terrorists have cleared “a wide swath of terrain to the north of Mosul airport, along the western bank of the Tigris River.” Practically all the buildings of the airport complex, as well as of the former military base to the west from it have been destroyed by terrorists in order to transform the edge of the city’s fortified city center “into a wall, from which they can target approaching adversaries.” The large open areas, which have been cleared by the IS to the south of its positions “will enable it to watch and engage advancing forces from a greater distance.”
At the same time, a long line of barricades has also been built by terrorists on roads leading into the city. According to Stratfor, the IS has used portions of concrete walls in the streets in order to prevent vehicles from using them. Terrorists have also “fashioned ready-made barriers that are currently lining both sides of the roads that are still open, and they could easily tip them into the streets once the battle draws near.”
Experts noted that defensive measures of the IS terrorists would pose a substantial tactical challenge to the air power and artillery fire of the Iraqi forces and its allies during the offensive on the city. “Iraqi troops will either have to adjust their course to avoid running into the Islamic State’s positions head-on, or accept the risks of crossing open terrain to reach the dug-in jihadist fighters,” Stratfor’s analysts concluded.