General: Iraq Has Retaken 30% of Western Mosul

Defense Ministry: Growing Number of ISIS Experts Slain

by Jason Ditz, March 12, 2017

Iraqi Maj. Gen. Maan al-Saadi is claiming significant progress in the invasion of western Mosul, saying ISIS forces are weakening, and that around 30% of that side of the city has now fallen, reiterating that they believe the battle for western Mosul will be faster than the 3+ month invasion of the city’s east.

A lot of this is based around unsubstantiated claims that the ISIS leadership in the city is “weakened” or in some way losing control over what remains of their defensive force. With the city surrounded, and escape impossible, however, other reports have indicated many ISIS fighters continue to resist for lack of any alternative.

Iraqi Defense Ministry officials are also claiming that certain high-ranking “experts” within ISIS have been slain in the course of strikes against the city, including a Tunisian-French recruit called Abu Omar al-Faransi, who was claimed to have formerly been an executive at Mercedes and an expert in automation.

Western Mosul is materially the last territory held by ISIS in Iraq, though they retain a lot of territory in eastern Syria. Within Iraq, however, they retain considerable capacity to launch attacks, and are likely to go back to a more traditional, landless insurgency.

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