The fight for Mosul, ISIS’ last stronghold in Iraq, has raged for nearly a month, and Iraqi forces and their allies have moved into the eastern side of the city.
As the battle for Mosul rages, the US-led coalition assisting Iraqi efforts to destroy the terrorist group has continued to hit ISIS targets around the country.
In the clip below, a US-led strike on November 5 takes out a factory in Tal Afar producing one of ISIS’ favourite and most destructive weapons: vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.
That Tal Afar strike took place about 50 west of Mosul, where four airstrikes that same day targeted ISIS positions, vehicles, weapons systems, and tunnels.
Iraqi forces, fighting with Kurdish peshmerga forces and Shiite militias, have made considerable advances in and around Mosul’s environs, but they have encountered stiffer resistance closer to and inside the city, and progress has slowed.
While ISIS has a favourable position in terms of defending the city, its supply lines are much more tenuous, and resupply has become an issue for the terrorist group.
The pressure of the Iraqi-led offensive has also affected the psychology of the group, giving rise to more suspicion within its ranks.
Reports indicate that executions have become more common, as ISIS leadership suspects its members and the people within its territory of plotting against it or of aiding the forces it is fighting.
Iraqi civilians — in particular the million or so still inside Mosul, some of whom are facing hunger — have suffered especially harshly as the Mosul offensive wears on.
Their presence in the city has put them in the line of fire between ISIS and Iraqi forces, sometimes by design of the terrorist group, which has executed dozens in recent days, sometimes for simply having a mobile phone. In areas liberated from ISIS, Iraqi forces have been accused of abusing and executing civilians suspected of having ties to the terrorist group.
Meanwhile, in the US, the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump has hinted that it will appoint several advocates of the US’s 2003 invasion of Iraq — which in part led to the rise of ISIS years later — to top national-security positions.
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