(ISW) ISF is nearing the end of operations in eastern Mosul after a major push from January 10 to 18 to recapture several remaining neighbourhoods and the University of Mosul. The Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), ISF’s elite urban warfare units, advanced in which to clear the University of Mosul and to extend ISF’s control of the Tigris River. CTS officially announced control over the university on January 15, after storming it two days prior, and continued to advance north along the river bank, seizing two additional bridges and key government buildings on January 13.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army (IA) and Federal Police are consolidating gains in northern and south-eastern Iraq. The Iraqi Army is advancing west along Mosul’s northern city limit towards the remaining ISIS-held areas in eastern Mosul. Federal Police and Iraqi Army units announced on January 14 full control of south-eastern Mosul with the recapture of Yarmjah and the south-eastern countryside with the recapture of Qiz Fakhri, the last ISIS-held village on the eastern bank. The Federal Police announced the same day the completion of its mission in south-eastern Mosul and that its units will return to the southern axis in order to resume efforts to break into the Mosul airport and southern military base. This effort will likely occur in synchronization as the ISF cross the Tigris River into western Mosul, though no time-line has yet been given.
Recent reinforcements and increased Coalition advisor's enabled these quick advances, though it is also likely that ISIS did not resist the ISF to the same extent as in the early stages of the city battle. The destruction of the five bridges spanning the Tigris River by Coalition air-strikes has likely limited ISIS’s mobility between east and west Mosul, hurting its ability to reinforce and resupply its fighters in the east. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis stated on January 9 that ISIS has resorted to makeshift means, including planks and cranes, to move people and equipment into eastern Mosul. The ISF is therefore facing an enemy incapable of regenerating its ranks as it takes losses. ISIS may have already withdrawn the majority of its fighters from eastern Mosul, as well, in order to limit its casualties in the face of growing ISF momentum.
THE CAMPAIGN FOR MOSUL: JANUARY 10-18, 2017