Friday, November 25, 2016

Mosul Status

Iraqi forces are in control of 40% of Mosul on the east bank of the Tigris River; have cut off Mosul from Syria; are poised to assault Tal Afar; and are "closing in" on the Mosul airport on the west bank.

This map of Mosul battle lines is interesting:

Per my earlier post on what I guess is the coming Iraqi offensive from the south and west, Iraqi forces are poised near the airport; only the center bridge across the Tigris linking the west and east banks of Mosul is still standing; and--most interesting--the map highlights the stadium that I noted could serve as an airhead for an Iraqi assault into western Mosul by the Iraqi troops south of the city who have been remarkably quiet while Shia militias marched on Tal Afar to the west where they cut off Mosul and while Counter-Terrorism Service forces make a very well covered advance through eastern Mosul.

So when does the Iraqi army with its America-trained brigades south of the city and supported by our forces from the logistics base at Qayyara (including attack helicopters and artillery) launch the main effort into western Mosul?

Perhaps the Iraqi advance will be more from the west to bypass that ISIL "city defense line" even as some Iraqi force capture the airport south of Mosul fixing ISIL attention, while an airmobile assault takes the Stadium and links up with a CTS thrust to the "old bridge" in the center still standing.

I just don't belief the eastern front is the main effort that will carry out an assault river crossing to liberate the western part of Mosul.