Mapping the road to the Liberation of Mosul

By  for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi forces are advancing toward the city of Mosul from the four corners of the country. Kurdish peshmerga are moving from the north and east, while government-controlled forces are heading toward the city from the south and west.

In recent developments in the Iraqi arena, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced July 9 the liberation of the Qayyarah air base 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Mosul. But the pertinent question is: How will the Iraqi forces reach Mosul from different directions?

The Joint Military Command had declared March 24 the launch of the first offensive on three axes according to statements by operations command spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yehya Rasul.

“The Iraqi forces have seized control of a number of villages near the Makhmur district to the east of Mosul,” 50 kilometers south of Mosul, Rasul said.

The military forces began advancing from the Makhmur air base toward the towns stretching along the Tigris River, about 16 kilometers west of Makhmur.

During the first days of the offensive, the army troops — including the 15th Division in the Iraqi army, backed by local fighters from Ninevah province — managed to liberate the three towns of Kudila, Kharbadan and Karmadi, before the operations came to a halt for over a month given the fierce resistance by the Islamic State (IS) and a string of suicide bombers hitting the military units.

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