Iraq’s advances toward Mosul in recent weeks already sounded a lot bigger in official statements than they looked on the map, and a big counter-offensive by ISIS forces, which began Friday night, they have brought Iraq’s Army to a virtually complete halt in the battle over the major city.
The counter-offensive began as cloudy weather hindered US warplanes, allowing ISIS forces to come out of cover and move toward an Iraqi Army barracks. The army insists ISIS did not reach the barracks, but officials did concede that ISIS recaptured some ground on the way there.
This has been a common strategy for ISIS in both Iraq and Syria, trying to get the pressure off of their defensive forces with counter-attacks forcing the other side to shift their own focus. This has often allowed ISIS to drag out long offensives.
That’s bad news for locals in Mosul, who are complaining that food and water supplies are already running low, with months more of war likely ahead. Locals also dismissed army claims of progress, saying they haven’t seen the Iraqi troops make a meaningful advance in three weeks.
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