Iraq Makes Gains in Eastern Mosul, Seizing University

Major University in Ruins After Fighting

After weeks of limited territory changing hands but large casualties, Iraqi forces inside the eastern half of Mosul appear to be getting some new momentum, speeding up their advance measurably as they near the Tigris River, though still facing stiff resistance, and with no timetable for entering the larger, western half of the ISIS-held city.

They took over much of the Mosul University campus over the weekend as well, with reports that they pushed into the college of dentistry and the technical institute on Saturday and gained even more ground on Sunday, taking virtually the whole campus, albeit a campus that is badly damaged by weeks of airstrikes, shelling, and combat.

Exact percentages of control over eastern Mosul are unclear at this point, though as they were already in the realm of 80% control in the leadup to the weekend offensives, the Iraqi military appears to be nearing full control over that half of the city.

This remains only part of the battle, however, as the more populous western half was the more heavily defended side of the city, and no forces have really neared it. On top of that, airstrikes have destroyed the bridges spanning the Tigris River, so crossing into the west isn’t going to be an easy task even once they’ve fully gotten the east under control.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.