… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: I hope this is the last time the Iraqis claim to have the last road out of Mosul cut off. With a huge Popular Militia force west of the city, why they would have allowed ISIS to continue getting out via the northwestern road is beyond me.
When the Militias were reportedly taking Badush prison, NW of Mosul, that was a big clue they did not have the door shut. I learned that only via preparing for a The Debate Show over the weekend.
That said, we are happy to see that the plan at least is to not let any get away, as that is just giving them a chance to come back at you later. This Iraq battle has been long and drawn out because that WAS the strategy for way too long — to “push the jihadis out of an area,” where they then just became reinforcements for another one.
Keeping casualties down to keep the Iraqi army morale up seemed to be the overriding concern at that time. But when the Mosul battle in the east really got cranked up, we saw the delay was due to the training of a large number of special operations troops in street-fighting tactics and equipping them to the max.
Despite that they still suffered thousands of casualties, but they were trained and tough enough to keep going because they knew they were winning. Regular army troops would have broken when attacked by masses of car and truck bombers. We hope that at some point the jihadis will give up the ghost. Many are being caught every day, as they are mixed in with the refugee civilians with fake IDs.
The Iraqi civilians have suffered enough, and now we hear the bombing sorties, all US, are killing a lot more civilians than in Aleppo, as ISIS is surrounding themselves with civilians as much as possible. There is no way to take a city and free it under these conditions without this happening. Only 69 Sunnis were hanged for helping to bring Daesh into Mosul. That had to be just the tip of the iceberg of the provocateurs. I expect to see a lot of denunciations once this is over… Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … March 13, 2017 –
A high-ranking US military figure says the Daesh Takfiri militants are trapped inside Mosul as Iraqi army forces, supported by pro-government forces from Popular Mobilization Units, have regained control of the only road out of the city.
Daesh “is trapped. Just last night, the 9th Iraqi Army Division, up near Badush, just northwest of Mosul, cut off the last road out of Mosul,” Brett H. McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the so-called Global Coalition to Counter Daesh at the US Department of State, told journalists in Baghdad on Sunday.
“Any of the fighters who are left in Mosul, they’re going to die there, because they’re trapped,” he said.
The remarks came on the same day that the commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, said soldiers from the 16th Infantry Division had wrested complete control of the Darnajoukh village east of Badush, and raised the national flag over a number of buildings there, Arabic-language al-Forat news agency reported.
The prominent Iraqi military commander added that Iraqi troopers also inflicted heavy losses on Daesh ranks during the operation and destroyed a considerable amount of their munitions.
Moreover, fighters from Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – won back the village of Sabih west of Mosul following intense clashes with Daesh Takfiris there.
Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters also killed the self-proclaimed Daesh governor of Badush, identified as Ali Salem al-Jabouri, during skirmishes west of Mosul.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) also announced in a statement that Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) forces had retaken control of Mosul’s western neighborhood of Aqwat, killing many Daesh terrorists and destroying their military hardware in the process.
Additionally, Commander of the Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat stated that security forces had liberated a popular market and Ramah area in the central Bab al-Toub neighborhood of Mosul.
Iraqi army soldiers and allied Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters launched their offensive to retake Mosul last October and since then they have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting and launched the battle in the west on February 19.