Iraq Troops Haven’t Advanced in Days as ISIS Fortifies Mosul

Iraq Troops Haven’t Advanced in Days as ISIS Fortifies Mosul | Heavy fighting takes 10 days to capture a few hundred meters

Iraq’s recent estimates that the offensive in the ISIS-held city of Mosul will take a couple of more months appear to have been wildly optimistic, with constant heavy fighting in eastern Aleppo amounting to a lot of casualties and little territory changing hands.

Indeed, the most recent reports out of Mosul are that it took 10 days of intense fighting to take a few hundred meters of neighborhood, and after that, several more days of fighting amounted to no additional territory changing hands.

In contrast to previous offensives into ISIS-held cities, officials say ISIS has heavily fortified pretty much the entire city, and continues to do so, meaning there are no “weak points” to exploit to try to carve away territory in short order.

A lot of the reports from Iraqi military personnel have suggested that while the special forces are doing okay, albeit heavily battered by all the fighting as the first troops to even reach the city, most of the rest of the Iraqi forces are woefully under-prepared and ill-equipped for the urban fighting they are finding themselves in.

Officials are also warning that with casualties much higher than they’d initially expected, the rate of attrition in the Mosul fight could badly hamstring the Iraqi military for years to come. Even in “winning” the city, the cost will be extremely high.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • As I said a couple of days ago, this New Iraqi Army couldn’t fight its way out of a paper bag, let alone take on ISIS. As long as America refuses to allow the Shia militia to be deployed in the Mosul battle ISIS will hold out as long as food and water last.

  • Brockland A.T.

    Oh yeah. The Iraqi military is intended not only to be hamstrung for years to come, but bled dry, as the perception is that Iraq is an Iranian proxy now anyway.

    The Shia will perceive themselves as having little choice, fighting as they are Sunni extremists, who originally were just the Iraqi Sunni resistance. A vicious but successful social polarization job both sides seem happy to embrace.

    Pan-Iraqi consciousness was always fragile and contrived, but now appears to be completely dead.