No Iraqi Forces Have Crossed Tigris River Into Western Part of City
Bragging up his forces gains in the past few days since resuming their attempts to advance in the city of Mosul, Lt. Gen. Abdulwahab al-Saadi claimed Iraqi troops now control “more than 60 percent” of the eastern side of Mosul. Mosul is divided roughly in half by the Tigris River, with the majority of people living in the western half of the city.
While this makes it sound like they captured huge amounts of territory over the past several days, the reality is Iraq was already claiming to have roughly 25% of the city weeks ago when they announced a pause. Cutting the city in half to boost the percent higher doesn’t mean they necessarily took much new territory.
Iraq’s long-standing plan is to take control of eastern Mosul before moving into the western half of the city, though having destroyed every single bridge between the two sides that transition may not be very easy. None of the offensives west of the Tigris have landed Iraqi troops particularly near the city so far.
Since western Mosul is the much more populace and important half of the city, it was always more heavily defended by ISIS, though the total inability of Iraqi forces to get near the city on that side of the river has led to ISIS redeploying some fighters to the east to try to slow the advance therein.
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