Top Iraqi officials said their intention was to “liberate” the western half of Mosul by the end of the month, and their official statements on the matter suggest they are well on track to do so, with Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool saying that over half of the west was recovered, and “up to 60 percent.”
That’s a lot of gains in the past few days, and particularly hard to believe since it’s only been a few days since they declared 33% recovered, and in those days that followed, fighters had described the advance as virtually halted by ISIS snipers and inclement weather.
The US troops aren’t buying it either, with Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin directly contradicting the Iraqi claim, and saying they believed Iraq had only recovered “a little over a third” of the west, or roughly the same as what they had a few days ago.
It is not unusual for Iraq to dramatically overstate its gains in various offensives, and to declare entire cities “liberated” with weeks of fighting yet to go, in order to meet a deadline that the political leadership sought. In much the same way, Iraq has claimed to have fully held eastern Mosul for well over a month, but there’s still fairly regular fighting there.
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