Following the liberation of all Mosul districts to the east of the Tigris River, the Iraqi government is gaining ground in Western Mosul as they struggle to sieze the remaining IS stronghold in Iraq.
Having already seized a number of villages preceding the assault on western Mosul on Sunday, thousands of military troops and vehicles headed towards IS targets in Western Mosul backed by military forces in the air. The offensive on the western part of the city was confirmed earlier on Sunday morning by Iraqi prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi. There have been no further advances from eastern Mosul after IS destroyes all five of the bridges across the Tigris River which lead to the western parts of the city.
Concerns for the safety of displaced individuals continue and al-Abadi urged all Iraqi troops to respect the rights of all Iraqi people and lend a hand to those in need, as many lives have and will be affected by the battle. Thousands of Iraqi civilians remain trapped, with around 650,000 currently under siege in the western districts of Mosul. After being displaced from Eastern Mosul in the early stages of a battle which lasted 100 days. In the battle to sieze the IS stronghold in Western Mosul, as many as 400,000 civilians could be displaced. Markets will be closed and residents will not have access to food, fuel, and other necessary supplies.Iraqi villages reclaimed
The recent advances by Iraqi federal police units took them to the south of the city where they led an offensive on the districts to the west of the Tigris River in an attempt to capture Mosul Airport. Rapid Response units successfully captured the villages of Athbah and Al-Lazzagh located to the south of Mosul Airport. Just last month, Iraqi government forces reclaimed the eastern parts of Mosul. However, seizing the western region of the city is proving to be an even greater challenge. The narrow streets in particular, make it difficult for tanks or any armored vehicles to pass through.5,000 remaining IS militants to face Iraqi armed forces numbering 100,000
Although IS has escalated its insurgency, over 1,000 of their fighters in Mosul have been wiped out since the offensive began in October 2016. The remaining 5,000 or so IS militants are currently up against Iraqi armed forces consisting of 100,000 men including police, Kurdish forces, paratroopers, as well as Iranian-trained Shia paramilitary groups. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that IS militants will back down as quickly as they did from Falluja and Ramadi.