Battle for west Mosul: Bombs 'fall like rain' on front line

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 27, 2017

Around 150,000 people remain displaced by the fighting to retake Mosul and aid agencies are preparing for up to another 200,000 to flee their homes during the offensive to retake the west of the city.

Isis has been using remote-controlled drones to drop bombs in Mosul, as well as its weapon of choice: suicide car-bombers.

The state of the art U.S. weaponry will be of less use as the battle moves into the narrow, winding streets of Mosul itself.

US forces have played a key role in the advance of Baghdad's troops, launching airstrikes and providing advisers on the ground. Waves of arbitrary arrests and detentions in the years before 2014 attempted to control the bombings and attacks, but many also blame them for helping ISIS rise to power in Mosul. As Andrew McGill explains at The Atlantic, a lot depends on how quickly the USA dollar strengthens in response, theoretically lessening the blow to consumers.

Mohammed Al Mawsily, manager of a radio station that broadcasts exclusively to Mosul from Irbil, told CNN that listeners who'd called in from the embattled city since the offensive began had expressed some cautious optimism. In a significant shift in tactics, the worldwide forces are now more deeply embedded with their Iraqi counterparts around Mosul, part of an effort to reduce casualties and speed the campaign.

By early afternoon, federal police commander Maj.

While that language was removed in the final version of the executive order, some estimates have said a troop presence of 30,000 could be needed for that mission.

Rasheed said that Iraqi forces had entered the district of al-Mamoun, the first district in western Mosul.

To defeat ISIS, the USA and its allies must "cut the connective tissue between regional groups that now form a trans-regional threat ... and then working in combination with local and coalition forces to drive the threat down to the level where local law enforcement can deal with that threat", Dunford said.

The US-led coalition has played a key role in supporting Iraqi forces with air strikes and advisers on the ground, and on Thursday US forces were seen on the front lines.

Outside, U.S. troops stationed at the base mingled with Iraqi police, while rockets fired by ISIS thudded intermittently nearby.

Iraqi and coalition forces are coming under increasing political and military pressure to wrap up the fight for Mosul quickly.

The battle for the old part of western Mosul, with its many narrow and winding streets, is expected to be hard.

Yet the psychological impact of drone attacks can not be discounted, says Emanuele Nannini from the Italian aid agency Emergency, which helps run the hospital where Umm Mohammed and several other drone victims are being treated.

"And we'll say, okay, so what direction?"

Under the December directive and an additional directive issued a few weeks ago, Browning said advisers like him embedded at the brigade level are now able to directly deliver support such as airstrikes and artillery fire to the units they're partnered with. "And we will search for it, and search for it, and search for it until we find it".

"ISIL is using vehicle bombs - this morning three were destroyed".

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