On Thursday, Iraqi forces, helped by U.S. Military Advisors, gained access to a huge military base outside of Mosul. This includes the city's airport as well as control of the runway. Heavy fire exchange with ISIS was reported. Mosul is Iraq's second-largest city. Earlier this week to drive IS from Mosul, a major assault was implemented which included a two-pronged advance. Thursday was the first time Iraqi special forces joined the fight for western Mosul. This played a key role in securing the eastern half of the city. Military officials have confirmed that an undisclosed number of U.S.

servicemen have suffered battle injuries.

The battle for Mosul

Currently 5,000 U.S. troops are there to support the Iraqi troops. According to the White House, a plan to step up the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq by military commanders is to be in place by next week. Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, stated to CBS News that he would not delay in requesting additional American boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria, if the need arose. It is believed that ISIS has between 1,000 and 3,000 fighters in Mosul. There are approximately 450 special ops forces advancing into western Mosul with their Iraqi equivalent. The front lines continue getting closer.

What it will take to defeat ISIS

According to a commander at a regional airbase, one bomb falls every eight minutes on ISIS targets in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. Due to the fact that the pace of air operations is determined by the pace of ground operations, the Pentagon is considering increasing the number of U.S. troops into both countries.

However, U.S. commanders have stated that boosting America’s presence in the fight would not take away combat duties from the domestic forces. Instead, U.S. troops would provide increased organizational planning as well as gun fire assistance. It is believed that approximately 750,000 civilians remain trapped within Mosul. According to Gen. Votel’s top field commander, Mosul as well as Raqqa should be liberated within six months.