Iraqi Officials Upbeat About Winning, But Fighting Continues
While Iraqi officials continue to say they are confident that ISIS’ defense is collapsing in Mosul, fighters on the ground tell a much different story, with ISIS snipers and mortar attacks continuing to loom large as ground troops slowly advance in the city’s western side.
ISIS snipers have proven remarkably successful at slowing the advances of Iraqi ground troops, particularly those which had limited training in preparation for urban combat. This has meant house to house fighting at a snail’s pace, which is why the eastern Mosul offensive took some three months.
Iraqi political leaders have said they believe they’ll have west Mosul wrapped up by the end of the month, though that would be surprising alacrity given that this side of the river is more populous, and had a larger ISIS defense force starting out.
Hope that ISIS morale will eventually break and send the defenders fleeing from western Mosul is similarly unlikely, as Shi’ite militias have blocked off the escape routes into Syria, likely guaranteeing that ISIS forces have to fight to the finish.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Mattis: US Troops Need to Stay in Iraq for 'Years' - March 24th, 2017
- Iraqi Civilians Continue to Flee Mosul, Facing Danger and Uncertainty - March 24th, 2017
- UN: Around 200 Civilians Killed Per Month in Yemen War - March 24th, 2017
- On Airstrikes' Anniversary, Serbia PM Rules Out Joining NATO - March 24th, 2017
- Netanyahu Rejects US Proposal on Reining in Settlement Growth - March 24th, 2017