On Monday, the Iraqi Army seized the Tal Al-Ruman and Tayaran districts in the western part of Mosul city amid fierce urban warfare with defiant Islamic State militants, thus reaching the outskirts of the ISIS-held Dawasah and Al-Danadan neighbourhoods.
This highly important advance was secured by the Iraqi Federal Police and the Iraqi Army’s so-called Rapid Response Units.
In addition, Iraqi security forces secured both banks of the ‘4th bridge’ after initially storming the Ma’mun and Al-Jawsaq districts three days ago. This bridge will enable for government troops in eastern Mosul to join the battle for western Mosul more easily.
Later on, ISIS launched a massive counter-offensive on the Ma’mun neighborhood in a last-ditch effort to turn the tables on the Iraqi Army; however, the attack proved unsuccessful and 5 VBIED’s (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) were destroyed.
Around 100 ISIS militants were neutralized in the Tal Afar and Mosul pocket on Monday, reaching roughly the same daily death toll as previous days.
Furthermore, at least 25 jihadist militants were killed by the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in the ‘Atshana hills region west of Mosul while 18 ISIS fighters were killed-in-action during the Ma’mun counter-attack.
Meanwhile, over 40 ISIS combattants were eliminated by the Iraqi Air Force during sorties on an ISIS outpost in the Jazirat Salahuddin desert. This was supposedly an ‘Inghimasi’ (suicide/infiltration) unit planning an attack on Samarra, a source close to Al-Masdar said.
The Iraqi Army also suffered heavy casualties of its own, mostly during mopping-up operations inside newly captured districts that are usually littered with booby traps.
— Chris Tomson (@TheDaneChris) February 28, 2017
The Iraqi Armed Forces control roughly 70% of Mosul while Islamic State fighters remain bogged down in the northwestern part of the city but are still putting up a good fight and have yet to run out of supplies.
Meanwhile, Iraqi troops are on standby at Tal Afar despite enjoying fire control over the imperative city. It may very well be stormed by PMU soldiers in the not so distant future.
— H. Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) February 27, 2017
In related news, thousands of Kurdish troops departed Iraq on Monday to join the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in an upcoming Deir Ezzor offensive.