The liberation of the Western part of Mosul from the extremists of ISIL (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization) will be accompanied by fierce fighting, it was stated by Colonel U.S. air force John Dorrian during a press briefing at the Pentagon on February 22. To start the operation to liberate the Western part of the city, located on the right Bank of the Tigris river, the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi announced on February 19. Mosul was captured by ISIS in the summer of 2014 and was declared the capital of the terrorists in Iraq.
The environment of terrorists
On February 19, the Iraqi security Forces are on the offensive against the terrorists from the southern and South-Eastern outskirts of Mosul, however, still has not entered the Western part of the city. By 20 February of the emergency response unit of the interior Ministry of Iraq has taken control of several villages South of the city and reached the outskirts of the military base Ghazlani and Mosul airport is five kilometers from the city center, which began firing on the following day.
In parallel, the ninth armored division of the Iraqi army in cooperation with the national militia fighters managed to cut the last supply routes and movement of terrorists between the city and district of tel afar West of Mosul, according to the Agency Rudaw, citing statements by the officer in the Iraqi army Samira Daoud. Allied forces continue offensive on tel afar in the North-votos to the side of the Tigris river to encircle the city and isolate it, predicts the Institute of military studies (ISW).
Support operations have a aviation of Iraq and the international coalition headed by the USA, as well as American military advisers. 450 advisers moved closer to the front lines to maintain operational communications with the commanders of the Iraqi army during the operation to capture the city, reports CBS news the message of Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, commander of the international coalition to combat ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Also, he noted that the coalition hopes to maintain the presence of an owl in the country after the completion of the operation to liberate Mosul. “I think the Iraqi government understands that this is a very difficult struggle and it needs the support of the coalition even after Mosul,” said Townsend. (Quoted by “RIA Novosti”).
A joint operation by the Iraqi army and its allies and the international coalition headed by the USA to liberate Mosul from ISIS extremists began in October of last year. In the first phase the allied forces were advancing on the Eastern part of the city, which is separated from the West by the Tigris river. After three months of fierce fighting, on 24 January this year, government troops have managed to dislodge the terrorists from the Eastern part of Mosul, and to leave to the banks of the Tigris. After that, the operation was temporarily suspended to prepare the assault of the right Bank took almost a month. The reason for this delay could be the controversy surrounding the participation of Shiite militias of the people’s militia, said the Deputy of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament, Izzat saber Ismail. According to Ismail, in the Western part of the city is home to a predominantly Sunni population, which feared reprisals from the Shiites.
The development of the offensive of the Iraqi army on the right Bank of Mosul could lead to a deterioration of the already dire humanitarian situation in the city. Because of the danger of terrorist attacks UN on 15 February announced the temporary suspension of the delivery of humanitarian assistance up until the Iraqi authorities will not create sufficient security conditions, the Agency transferred ِAssociated Press statement of the coordinator for humanitarian assistance of the UN in Iraq Lisa Grand. Security in the liberated part of the city provide the 16-th division of the Iraqi army along with police and militia from the local tribes. However, from the Western part of the city in the East continue to infiltrate the militants, who carry out regular terrorist attacks. In addition, in the Eastern part, not all of the terrorist cell neutralized.
In the rebels controlled the Western part, according to UN estimates, at the moment there are between 750 and 800 thousand people. After the army blocked the main road leading from Mosul to Syria, in the Western part of the city for three months did not receive food, medicine and fuel. Due to failure of water supply systems and cleaning of weapons, as well as leakage of chlorine into the wells civilians are experiencing an acute shortage of clean drinking water, said Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF representative in Iraq. “Prices for food in the Western part of Mosul almost two times higher than in the Eastern part,” says Sally Haydock, representative of the world food programme in Iraq. Humanitarian organizations are preparing for the consequences of the renewed offensive of the Iraqi army. To the South of the city open areas for reception, the number of which can reach 250-400 thousand, involve the UN.