Iraqi forces cut ISIL’s last escape route from Mosul

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 01 March 2017, 03:15 hrs, UTC, Post #128.

Source:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/01/iraqi-forces-cut-islis-last-escape-route-mosul/

Accessed on 01 March 2017, 03:15 hrs, UTC.

Reports from Reuters and “The Telegraph”.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

Iraqi security forces have seized control of the last major highway out of western Mosul, cutting off jihadist militants still fighting in sections of the city and providing another escape route for civilians trapped in Mosul.

According to commanders with the Iraqi 9th Armored Division, soldiers advancing on the city are withing one mile of the famous “Syrian Gate” on the northwest side of Mosul.  Other Iraqi units are crossing the Tigris River and pushing against fleeing ISIL/ISIS fighters who are seeking safety in the desert.

Here is the latest intelligence estimate from Reuters correspondents attached to Iraqi army units:

“Iraqi forces captured the eastern side of Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting and launched their attack on the districts that lie west of the Tigris river on Feb. 19.

If they defeat Islamic State in Mosul, that would crush the Iraq wing of the caliphate declared by the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014.

The U.S. commander in Iraq has said he believes U.S.-backed forces will recapture both Mosul and Raqqa, Islamic State’s Syria stronghold in neighbouring Syria, within six months.”

Opinion:

While the Iraqi advance won’t defeat ISIS/ISIL forces in Northern Iraq and Eastern Syria, it will cut the so-called Caliphate in two and deny resupply of troops and material to jihadist fighters in the region.  The next target is the Islamic State’s stronghold in Raqqa, Syria.  Meanwhile, the U.S. air offensive against jihadist forces continues in Northern Iraq with ground attack aircraft targeting oil trucks, dug-in fortifications, and training camps. More details can be found in United States Department of Defense bulletins.  To date, more than 45,000 ISIS/ISIL fighters have died in the Battle for Mosul.

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Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

https://hawaiiintelligencedigest.com

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