Iraqi forces close in on Mosul mosque as residents flee.

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 20 March 2017, 04:25 hrs, UTC, Post #146.

Source:

http://www.ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABN16Q0B2-OCATP

Accessed on 20 March 2017, 04:25 hrs, UTC.

Reporters:  Patrick Markey and John Davison (Reuters).

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

As Iraqi forces advance on the train station and the al-Nuri Mosque in west Mosul, thousands of inner city residents are fleeing the barrage of mortar, artillery, and small arms fire directed at about 2,000 Islamic State fighters dug in around key government buildings in west Mosul.

Here’s the current situation from Reuters correspondents Patrick Markey and John Davison:

“The battle to recapture Islamic State’s last stronghold in Iraq has now entered its sixth month. Iraqi government forces, backed by U.S. advisers, artillery and air support, have cleared the east and half of western Mosul and are now focused on controlling the Old City.

Recent fighting has targeted the centuries-old al-Nuri Mosque, with its famous leaning minaret. Its capture would be a blow for Islamic State as it was from there that Baghdadi declared himself head of his self-proclaimed caliphate in July 2014…”

Opinion:

This is the beginning of the end for Islamic State forces in northwestern Iraq.  Once west Mosul is retaken by Iraqi Army, police, and special forces teams, the Islamic State will be cut in two.  ISIS/ISIL forces are expected to fight to the death.  After Mosul is secured, Syrian Democratic Forces, aided by Kurdish militia and Iraqi Army troops will attack the city of Raqqa in eastern Syria, which serves as the de facto capital of the Islamic State.  U.S. military aircraft are already attacking defensive positions near Raqqa and cutting off roads and supply routes to the city.  Those surviving the coordinated attack will probably melt into the surrounding desert to fight another day.

For the latest trends in geopolitical intelligence, strategic forecasting, terrorism, and cybersecurity, please visit my Daily Intelligence Briefing at:

https://paper.li/f-1482109921.

For more information on the above topics, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

https://hawaiiintelligencedigest.com

https://paper.li/f-1482109921.