Iraqi security forces announced on Thursday that several elements of the Iraqi army, federal police and Counter Terrorism Service have initiated a simultaneous advance, with coalition air and artillery support, along three axes to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
On the north axis, units of the Iraqi army’s 16th Division advanced south to clear additional neighborhoods as they take new ground, U.S. Central Command officials said. On the east axis, Counter Terrorism Service units pushed west and south along two fronts. On the south axis, units of the federal police began clearing neighborhoods to the north.
Two New Fronts
The Iraqi multi-axis advance opens two new fronts within the city, officials said, and increases pressure on ISIL's dwindling ability to generate forces, move fighters or resupply.
Since the Mosul operation began Oct. 17, the coalition has struck ISIL with more than 7,650 munitions in support of the Iraqi security forces. Additionally, at the request of the Iraqi government, the coalition re-struck two Mosul bridges Dec. 27 and disabled the last bridge crossing the Tigris River inside Mosul the day before.
The strikes were conducted to reduce enemy freedom of movement, and to further disrupt ISIL's ability to reinforce, resupply, or use vehicle-borne bombs in eastern Mosul, officials said.
Coalition forces provide operational advice and assistance to Iraqi units along with intelligence, logistics, artillery and air support to the Iraqi security forces in a partnership to defeat ISIL in Iraq. Support is being provided in response to requests by the Iraqi government in a deliberate and consultative manner, officials said, to avoid unnecessary casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.
(Source: US Dept of Defense)