Battle for Mosul Day 27: Iraqi Forces Win Back Ancient City of Nimrud

Battle for Mosul Day 27: Iraqi Forces Win Back Ancient City of Nimrud
 (FNA)- Iraq’s military offensive to liberate the city of Mosul from ISIL’s control continued on Sunday as reports said Iraq’s joint military forces managed to seize back the ancient city of Nimrud 30 kilometers to the South of Mosul.

Iraqi Forces Win Back Ancient City of Nimrud Near Mosul

Iraq’s joint military forces managed to seize back the ancient city of Nimrud 30 kilometers to the South of the city of Mosul.

“The Iraqi army’s Ninth Armored Division inflicted heavy losses on the ISIL terrorists after taking full control of Nimrud ancient city and its surrounding areas,” senior Iraqi Commander Major General Abdel Amir Yarallah said on Sunday.

Iraq’s joint military forces are now in full control of the ancient city.

Popular Forces’ Commanders Blast US for Troubling Mosul Operation

Commanders of popular forces in Iraq lashed out at the US-led coalition for hindering the operation to fully liberate Mosul.

“The popular and resistance forces are not pleased with the US-led international coalition’s presence in Nineveh operations since they do not coordinate operations with the popular forces in the Western front,” Spokesman and a senior commander of Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Battalions) popular forces Jafar al-Hosseini told FNA on Sunday.

He said that the popular forces have called on the government to exclude the US-led coalition from the Western front.

Iraqi Forces Continue to Advance in Eastern Mosul

Iraq’s joint military forces continued to move ahead in several directions inside Mosul and seized back several more districts Southeast of the city, while the ISIL has resorted to dispatching female suicide bombers to war fronts to prevent the army’s further advances.

“The Iraqi forces entered the Eastern flank of the city from the Southeastern side and purged terrorists from al-Entesar, Jadideh al-Mufti, al-Shima, al-Salam and Youness al-Sabawi regions as well as all the villages located to the North of al-Zab river,” Senior Iraqi Commander Abdel Amir Rashid Yarallah said on Sunday.

ISIL Attacks Village in Central Iraq with Chemical Shells

ISIL attacked a village in the Central Iraqi Salaheddin province with the shells of chlorine gas, killing at least three people, a local source reported.

The source said terrorists fired at the village over 15 mortar shells containing chemical chlorine, Al-Sumeriya reported.

“The ISIL attacked a village in Al-Shirqat region with more than 15 mortar shells, some of those containing toxic chemical chlorine. As a result of firing three people were killed, two were wounded, among them women and children. Material damage was done, as well,” the source further added.

ISIL Orders Militants’ Withdrawal to Mosul City Center

Commander of ‘We Are Coming Nineveh’ Military Operation Najm al-Jabouri said the ISIL has ordered its militants to withdraw from their positions to the center of the city of Mosul.

“The advances made by the Iraqi forces from several directions have resulted in ISIL’s withdrawal to Mosul city center,” the Arabic-language media quoted al-Jabouri as saying on Sunday.

The commander said that ISIL’s withdrawal order came from fear of confrontation with the Iraqi security forces.

He noted that Iraq’s joint security forces are forcefully and rapidly advancing towards towns located to the East and North of Mosul city.

Iraqi Forces Kill 30 Militants, Defuse 30 Car Bombs in Mosul

Forces of Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) purged ISIL militants from two districts in Eastern Mosul and began advancing in a third neighborhood.

CTS commander Lieutenant-General Abdul Wahab al-Saidi made the announcement, while adding that 30 militants were killed in the process, presstv reported.

He said that Iraqi forces are now fully in control of the district of al-Arbajiya and are currently halfway through purging the adjacent al-Qadisiya al-Thaniya district.

Iraqi Army Base Comes Under US Air Raid Again

Iraqi Army Base Comes Under US Air Raid Again

 (FNA)- Deputy Chief of the Nineveh Provincial Council Noureddin Qablan announced that the US-led coalition warplanes have launched airstrikes on on army base in Nineveh province, killing several soldiers.

“The US fighter jets hit one of the military bases of Iraqi Army’s 16th Division in a region North of Mosul, and the attack left four Iraqi soldiers dead,” Qablan said.

He said that the US army has confirmed the attack, calling it a “mistake”.

Qablan said that it is not the first time the US warplanes hit the Iraqi army and volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) military positions, adding, “The US-led coalition has each time said that air raids were not deliberate.”

On October 5, the US warplanes hit the military positions of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in the village of Kharaeb Jabr to the South of Mosul, killing 20 Iraqi volunteer forces and injuring five others.

In late September, a senior Iraqi lawmaker disclosed that the US fighter jets had pounded the military positions of the Iraqi volunteer forces in the Northern part of Babel province.

“The Iraqi warplanes struck the equipment warehouses of Hashd al-Shaabi in al-Nasr region in Northern Babel,” Mohammad Naji said.

He noted that the US was trying to prevent the Iraqi popular forces from making advances against the ISIL and the most important proof to that is that it struck Hashd al-Shaabi’s warehouse in mid-September.

In June 2015, Fighter jets of the US-led coalition against ISIL once again struck the Iraqi forces’ positions in the province of Anbar, in Western Iraq.

The US-led coalition warplanes hit the bases of Iraqi army’s Hezbollah battalions in Fallujah in Anbar province, killing 6 soldiers and injuring 8 others.

In early May, the anti-ISIL coalition forces struck the position of Iraq’s popular forces near Baghdad, killing a number of volunteer forces.

The US-led coalition warplanes hit an arms production workshop of the popular forces near the Iraqi capital, destroying the workshop and its ammunition completely.

Two members of Iraq’s popular forces were killed in the attack.

The US has repeatedly struck the popular forces’ positions in different parts of Iraq.

On March 29 2015, the US fighter jets struck the positions of Iraq’s popular forces during their fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists near Tikrit, injuring a number of fighters.

The US and coalition forces conducted eight airstrikes near Tikrit, but they hit the popular forces’ positions instead of ISIL.

In February 2015, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

“The US planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places,” Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.

He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the US airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.

“Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control,” Al-Jaberi said.

Meantime, Head of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

In January 2015, al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA at the time.

Turkish Artillery, Tanks Support Kurds Taking Part in Mosul Operation

 Smoke billows from an area near the Iraqi town of Nawaran, some 10km north east of Mosul, as Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters march down a dirt road on October 20, 2016, during the ongoing operation to retake the city from the Islamic State (IS) group

   Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that Turkish artillery and tanks are supporting the northern Iraqi Kurdish forces Peshmerga in the operation to liberate the Iraqi settlement of Bashiqa from the Daesh terrorist group.

   ANKARA . Turkish artillery and tanks are supporting the northern Iraqi Kurdish forces Peshmerga that participate in the military operation aimed at liberation the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) terror group, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday.

  “The Peshmerga forces during the operation aimed at liberation of the Iraqi settlement of Bashiqa from IS asked the Turkish military deployed at the base near Bashiqa for support,” Yildirim said, as quoted by the Turkish NTV outlet.

  He pointed out that Turkish air forces if necessary may assist in liberation of Mosul adding that the necessary agreement has already been reached.

   Yildirim also said that along with the Iraqi armed forces and the Peshmerga, militia trained at the Bashiqa base by Turkish military is also taking part in the operation.

   On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of a military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh. According to local media, about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are taking part in the operation, backed by airstrikes carried out by the US-led international coalition.

Peshmerga General Tells Sputnik His Men Are Only 11 Kilometers From Mosul

 

 Peshmerga forces advance in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016

   As the Iraqi army and its allies continue their assault against the Daesh stronghold of Mosul, one of the Kurdish Peshmerga commanders has revealed that his men are now only a few kilometers away from the city limits.

   Scores of Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) militants were eliminated by Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the Iraqi province of Nineveh as part of the preparations for the assault on Mosul.Peshmerga General Juku Muhammed Kalahi told Sputnik about how his Kurdish troops had liberated several villages.

   “Our forces terminated scores of Daesh members during the liberation of the following villages: Al-Sheikh Khamis, Kazkan and Shaquli. Right now we’re one kilometer away from the town of Bartella,” the general said.

   According to Kalahi, Daesh manpower reserves were depleted during clashes in the province of Nineveh, where the Iraqi military and its allies scored victories in El-Kueir and Al-Khazer several hours ago.

   Earlier a source in the Iraqi security services told Sputnik that today, on October 17, the military and its allies dislodged Daesh forces from the vicinity of Bashiqa – a town located only 12 kilometers away from Mosul.

   Since the Middle Ages, Bartella had been inhabited by Arameans, an early group of Christians who used a language akin to that spoken by Christ; its population of 30,000 was roughly one third Catholic and two thirds Orthodox and boasted churches dating back to the 12th century. However, in August 2014, the city residents fled ahead of invading Daesh forces; its last 12 surviving residents faked conversion to Islam and were able to escape the following month, according to AINA News.

Over 80,000 Troops Involved in Liberation of Iraqi Mosul From Daesh

 

 Iraqi forces deploy in the area of al-Shourah, some 45 kms south of Mosul, as they advance towards the city to retake it from the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists, on October 17, 2016

Over 80,000 troops are involved, including engineers and logistical support, in the operation to liberate the city of Mosul in Iraq from the Daesh terrorists, according to media reports.

Tens of thousands of troops are involved in the operation to liberate the city of Mosul in Iraq from the jihadist group Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh), media reported on Monday.

   Over 80,000 troops are involved, including engineers and logistical support, in the operation, The Washington Post reported, citing a commander of Iraqi special forces, Maj. Salam Jassim.

   Mosul, the second biggest Iraqi city, is the main stronghold of Daesh in Iraq. The city was seized by Daesh, a jihadist group outlawed in Russia, in 2014 along with a number of other northern and western Iraqi cities and towns.

Late on Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of the military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh militants. Iraqi troops and their allies, including local Sunni militias, and US-led coalition support are involved in the offensive.

Iraqi Military Kills 700 Daesh Militants During Liberation of Area Near Ramadi

Iraqi soldiers

 

The Iraqi troops have killed 700 Daesh terrorists during the operation to liberate Khalidiya Island in the Anbar province.

 The Iraqi forces have killed 700 Daesh militants since the beginning of an anti-terrorist offensive on Khalidiya Island located 14 miles east of Ramadi in the western Anbar province, the commander of Anbar Operations said.

“Security forces so far has killed 700 ISIS [Daesh] members since the beginning of Khalidiya Island liberation battles. Khalidiya Island has been liberated two weeks ago,” Maj. Gen. Ismail Mahalawi said, as quoted by the Iraqi News outlet.

The final anti-terrorist offensive on Khalidiya Island started in late July. In early August, Iraqi media reported that Khalidiya Island had been fully liberated from terrorists.The city of Ramadi was occupied by Daesh militants in May 2014. The government forces succeeded in retaking the city after weeks of fierce fighting from December 2015 to February 2016.

Daesh is a terrorist group mainly operating in Syria and Iraq. The jihadists have also claimed responsibility for attacks in Europe. The group is outlawed in many countries around the world, including Russia and the United States.

War Crime? Iraqi Defense Video Shows Use of Incendiary Weapons in US-Led Fight

Alleged Use of Incendiary Weapons in Qayyarah by US-led Coalition or Iraqi Air Force

 

A disturbing new video released by the Iraqi Defense Ministry celebrating the liberation of Qayyarah by Iraqi Air Force and the US-led Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve shows the airborne drop of incendiary munitions in potential violation of international law.

Troubling video issued by the Iraqi Defense Ministry show the country’s air force dropping incendiary munitions from an airplane on the villages of South Qayyarah as part of the campaign to liberate the territory from the control of Daesh terrorists.

Initial reports from on the ground freelance reporters indicate that the munitions were dropped by either the Iraqi Air Force or by the US-led Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve planes although the former seems more likely with video footage appearing on the Iraqi Defense Ministry’s YouTube page.

The town, only 35 miles (56km) from Mosul, has long been a Daesh stronghold until recently when Iraqi forces have made major gains against the Jihadists taking back the strategic Qayyarah Air Force Base in July. Once a booming oil town, Qayyarah has become the epicenter of some of the most violent fights against the Daesh jihadists serving as a critical staging point for the offensive to retake Mosul.

Freelance combat reporters Aldin Abazović said that the incendiary munitions appear consistent with white phosphorus. The use of white phosphorus is prohibited under international law and is considered a war crime if dropped from an warplane into an inhabited area.

Protocol III of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons defines an incendiary weapon as any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target. These are distinguished from more benign weapons that have secondary incendiary properties such as tracers. The video shows the use of the alleged incendiary weapons at 1:50.

Additionally, even a village overwrought by Daesh jihadists would still be considered to fit within the protocol’s “concentration of civilians” definition which extends to any reasonable number of non-combatants including even “a group of nomads.” It has been argued by the United States under the Bush administration that these conventions lack full weight because the enemy is not fighting in accordance with international law, but scholars contest that the protections are for the civilians, not the combatants, thus defeating that argument.

Both the United States and Iraq are signatories to protocol III of the Convention Against the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons and are bound against using these weapons in the field of fight by force of treaty and by censure of the United Nations.

5 Soldiers Killed, 8 Wounded in Attack on Turkish Security Check Point

Turkish soldier checks cars at a checkpoint (File)

 

An alleged PKK attack on a security checkpoint in Cukurca, Turkey has left five soldiers dead and another eight wounded.

The incident occurred in the southeastern province of Hakkari, along the Iraqi border.

The attackers reportedly used long-barreled weapons, and fired on the soldiers during an identity check along the Cukurca-Hakkari Highway.

The soldiers were taken to a nearby hospital.

Armored vehicles were deployed to the scene, with clashes between Turkish security and PKK forces reportedly still ongoing.

At Least 14 Civilians Killed in Recent US Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

Pilots onboard of the US Marine fighter jet aircrafthave flown missions into both Iraq and Syria, part of the over 6,800 airstrikes carried out since August 2014.

 

CENTCOM said that at least 14 civilians were killed in US airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS, also known as Daesh) militants and al-Qaeda supporters in Iraq and Syria.

 At least 14 civilians were killed in US airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIL, also known as Daesh) militants and al-Qaeda supporters in Iraq and Syria, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said.

“We deeply regret the unintentional loss of life and injuries resulting from our airstrikes and express our sympathies to those affected,” CENTCOM said in a Thursday statement, as quoted by The Stars And Stripes newspaper.

The airstrikes were conducted between July 2015 and April 2016. Most of the civilian casualties come from airstrikes carried out in February-April of the current year.

On Wednesday, a spokesman of the US-led anti-IS coalition said that reports of civilian deaths resulting from a July 19 coalition airstrike in Syria, near Manbij, were being investigated by CENTCOM. There have been reports that as many as 50 civilians were killed in the strike carried out in the Aleppo province.The US-led coalition of more than 60 nations has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh militants in Syria and Iraq since 2014.

The Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in the United States, Russia and numerous other countries throughout the world, has taken control of vast areas in Iraq and Syria, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. The radical Sunni group has become notorious for its human rights atrocities, such as public beheadings of foreign journalists.

Iraqi Army, Peshmerga Forces Prepare Huge Offensive Against Daesh in Mosul

Iraqi soldiers guard their base in Makhmour, after it was freed from control of Islamic State, south of Mosul, April 17, 2016

 

As the Iraqi army and its allied Peshmerga units prepare a major offensive on Mosul to flush out Daesh terrorists, Helgurd Hikmet, a representative of the Regional Government of Kurdistan, discussed the details of the upcoming operation with Sputnik.

An estimated 50,000 Iraqi soldiers, backed by 20,000 Peshmerga fighters, 10,000 Turkmens and members of Sunni tribes will take part in the offensive.“The Iraqi army and Sunni tribesmen will be spearheading the offensive, with Peshmerga and Turkmen forces bringing up the rear. Coalition air forces will provide air cover. The Peshmerga said they would not enter the center of Mosul arguing because it just won’t be right for Kurds to take control of an Arab city,” Helgurd Hikmet said.

He added that apart from airstrikes, the US-led coalition would also provide logistical support for the advancing forces.

During their recent meeting in Washington, the foreign ministers of the countries – members of the US-led coalition against Daesh – prioritized the need to liberate Mosul.

Helgurd Hikmet said that the army would need about a year to completely flush out Daesh forces defending the strategic northern city.

“The Peshmerga forces that now control the city’s western, northern and eastern suburbs will be advancing towards the city center. The Iraqi army now controls the southern and southeastern suburbs and the outskirts of the town of Makhmour,” Hikmet explained, adding that the Iraqi army had recently killed one of the leading Daesh field commanders, Omer ash-Shishani.

He also said that said that Americans didn’t like Baghdad’s idea of the Shiite militia taking part in the operation to liberate the predominantly Sunni-populated Mosul.

The Shiite fighters, who earlier took part in operations to liberate Fallujah and many other Iraqi cities, are accused of committing atrocities against the Sunni population, further igniting divisions, which could result in a serious interfaith conflict. Another reason why Washington wants the Shiites to stay away is their close links to Iran.

“On the other hand, the Americans welcome the participation of Turkish-trained Turkmen fighters. Turkey, for its part, is against the participation of Shengal self-defense forces of Yazidis and people linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party, which are banned in Turkey,” Helgurd Hikmet noted.

“The Iraqi army, Peshmerga and other forces need to iron out their differences before the operation to liberate Mosul actually starts,” Hikmet emphasized.

In an interview with Sputnik, Aydin Maruf, the coordinator of the Iraqi Turkmen Front in Erbil and a member of the Kurdish parliament in Iraq, said that an operation to drive Daesh militants out of Mosul’s suburbs had already begun.

“What we don’t know yet is when exactly the operation to liberate the city itself is going to start. Before this happens all the participating forces need to reach agreement. We, Turkmens, will certainly take part in that operation because there are more than half a million of our people living there and liberating them is a topmost priority for us,” Aydin Maruf said.