More than two-and-a-half months have passed since the start of the operation to restore the west of the Mosul and liberate it from the grips of ISIS, to this day, 10 districts west of the city are still under the control of the organization, with expectations of its liberation soon.
Local residents spoke to Al Arabiya stressing that the artillery of the Iraqi army and the fighters of the international alliance are targeting the sites of ISIS on the west side, and that all the injured and wounded fighters are hiding in these neighborhoods.
Ali Al-Badrani told Al Arabiya that ISIS’s defense depends on the explosion of motorcycles, due to tightness of neighborhoods on the west side. In addition, locals continue to flee to areas under the control of the Iraqi forces. He stressed that all the wounded fighters injured in the battles went to these neighborhoods because they are their last resort.
Al-Badrani said that the Iraqi forces have so far recovered 62 areas and neighborhoods. 2,771 explosions, including booby traps, air strikes and artillery shells, have been reported in the past two and a half months.
For his part, Lt. Col. Montazer al-Shamari of the anti-terrorism unit said that the restoration of the 17 Tamouz neighborhood and the Zanjili area are one of the goals of the Iraqi forces after the restoration of the old area while 10 other neighborhoods in western Mosul are still controlled by ISIS.
During a military campaign that began on October 17th, 2016, the Iraqi forces managed to recover the eastern half of the city. On the 19th of February, the battles on the western side, which still continue until today, began.