image Iraqi Army Starts Operation to Free ISIS-Controlled Town near Mosul

The Iraqi military gains momentum in the battle over Mosul

Iraqi army and security forces are reportedly working better together in their battle against Islamic State militants and are gaining momentum in the Mosul campaign. During a helicopter tour over recently recaptured areas, U.S. Army Lieutenant-General Steve Townsend said coordination had been largely absent in the first two months of the campaign, when Iraqi forces made slow progress after breaching the city. Elite counter-terrorism troops entered Mosul from the east and seized a quarter of the city but troops on other fronts stalled, leading to a military pause last month. Since resuming the offensive last week, the counter-terrorism service, rapid response division and federal police have retaken several eastern districts – despite fierce resistance – and joined flanks in areas that had been vulnerable to attacks. Townsend said Iraqi commanders, with guidance from the US-led coalition, decided two weeks ago that the various pro-government forces would have to coordinate much more closely. “For about two months, they ran for the most part a huddle-less offence, and what we saw is that there wasn’t enough synchronization between each of the different attacking axes and forces. The Iraqis also noted this and so that was sort of the big change after the commanders’ conference. Right before Christmas was a decision to huddle a lot more frequently, so they’re doing that more. After every few plays they’re having a huddle and talking about the next series of plays.” He added, “We’re seeing progress: before where we were seeing progress mostly on one main axis and halting progress on the others, now we’re actually seeing forward movement on all of the axes in eastern Mosul,” Lt. Gen. Steve Townsend, Commander of US-led coalition against IS said.


An Iraqi victory in Mosul would probably spell the end for Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, which leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared some two and a half years ago, from the city of Mosul’s main-mosque.