The Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced on Friday afternoon that Special Forces from the elite "Golden Division" (Counter Terrorism Services, CTS) have advanced to the town of Tob Zawa, and are now one mile from Mosul.
This is despite a desperate attempt by Daesh to slow progress by setting fire to the Mishraq Sulphur Plant. Despite the fire, government advances have continued (see below for Iraqi MoD data on Daesh losses.)
Tob Zawa is the 90th settlement retaken in the first week of the offensive and follows the liberation of Bartella, also by Golden Division forces. The latter victory fulfils a promise by Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units that "the bells of Mosul's Churches will ring again."
To the eastern axis of approach to the city, Kurdish Peshmerga and CTS forces are coordinating with the Iraqi 9th Armored Division and 16th Division, reaching the edge of Bashiqa, while Iraqi Federal Police entered the Shura district to the south.
Securing the advance to the south, an alliance of Sunni tribal fighters, the Iraqi Army 15th Division and Popular Mobilization Forces are securing the approaches to the city. To the north, Kurdish Peshmerga and CTS are also advancing despite a failed Daesh attack on the town of Sinjar.
In addition to Daesh's burning of oilfields at Qayyarah, the destruction of the Mishraq facility further demonstrates the appalling disregard for civilians the group has, which affects all Iraqi communities.
Elsewhere in Iraq, dozens of Daesh fighters were killed during attempts to stall the Mosul advance by attacking in Kirkuk over the last weekend and also attempting to capture Rutbah in Anbar province. Anbar governor Suhaib al-Rawi confirmed on October 25th that Iraqi government forces and tribal fighters had repelled a Daesh attack on the town.
While these local Daesh attacks make headlines, the terrorist gangs are now far too weak to stop the inevitable liberation of Mosul. Because of this, the group has been changing its information campaign to emphasize "temporary retreat," or "inhiyaz." Iraqi government forces and the Coalition are working to ensure this retreat is permanent.
Total enemy losses since the 17th of October 2016 until 12:00 pm on 27th of October 2016:
- Killing of 772 terrorists and capturing 23
- Capture of 492 weapons
- Capture of 7 explosive belts
- Destruction of 4 booby-trapped homes
- Destruction of 3 tunnels
- Destruction of397 explosive devices
- Destruction of 6 anti-aircraft cannons
- Destruction of 202 battlefield weapons
- Destruction of a large weapons warehouse
- Destruction of a Terrorist Command Centre
- Destruction of the 40 terrorists’ defensive positions
- Finding 2 explosive plants
By day 10 of the operation, the Iraqi Ministry of Defence listed the following villages and settlements in Ninewa as having been liberated, including:
Baz Khara, Baz Kartan, Tarjala, Kaberli, Kharab Sultan, Sheikh Amir, Shaqouli, Badanet Alkobra, Badanet Alsoghra, Alsrt, Mohandes Alnaser, Alsayawia, Alzayiwa, Wadi Alsaf, Wadi Alfaj, Jadida Alfaj, Jadida Alghriba, Alnajma Alsofla wa Alolia, Kabr Naief, Alnasiah, Said Hasan, Albejwanieh Alsofla wa Alolia, Bashmana, Alsarj, Alhoud, Almohandes Alsharqi, Allazaka, Alzawiah, Alkhaldiah, Ein Marmiah, Albejwana Althalitha, Aldarj, Albakr Alola, Albakr althaniah, Alrafla, Bartalah, Alshwerat, Maftal, Talol alnasir, Om Almanasis, Tal alshok, Rafilah, Alsalhiah, Sedawa, Alheej, Almakouk, Aldwezat, Alkhabata, Almeshrag, Alsafinah, Na’na’, Alhamdaniah, Harara, Alraseef, Alshora aljadeda, Ibrahim Alkhali, Aladalah, Kani harami, Balawat, Esfe, Twaibah, Abu faska al olia wa alsofla, Ikhwaniah, Ein, Alshak alolia wa sofla , Alsafinah, Alsajma, Saf altot, Talol almahar, Karmls, Alkhafsan, Zalhafa, Khaznah, Khaznah Tabah, Tarab, Zawa, Almawfqiah, Tahrawa, Saf Altooth, Zalhafa, Kanbas, Talol Almahar, Alsajma , Abu Fashka, Manteqet Alqalaat.
(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Defence)