Pentagon Upbeat as Iraqi Forces Advance Outside of Mosul

Peshmerga: Nine Villages Captured in Fighting

by Jason Ditz, October 17, 2016

Iraqi forces announced the invasion of the ISIS city of Mosul yesterday, and are claiming “success” today, though by all indications they still aren’t particularly close to the city itself, and are rather fighting over villages around the city’s outskirts.

The Pentagon was as upbeat as ever, insisting the troops were “ahead of schedule” in their offensive. The Peshmerga reported nine villages had been captured in the fighting, and that they were close to having control over part of the main road connecting Mosul to the Kurdish capital of Irbil.

Iraqi officials claimed “heavy losses of life” on the side of ISIS, though no actual figures were released. ISIS had previously been reported to have mostly fallen back into Mosul itself in anticipation of the invasion, so it’s unclear what was left to inflict heavy losses on.

Mosul is ISIS’ largest city, and has been under their control for over two years. Iraqi officials have been talking up the invasion all year, with weeks of indications it would begin in mid-October, which has allowed ISIS to make significant preparations to resist the push.

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