Iraq's elite counterterrorism troops,the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF),have entered the eastern side of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant northern stronghold of Mosul,said press operations director Captain Jeff Davis,US Navy,on 15 November to reporters at the Pentagon.ISOF has 18,000 troops in three brigades,and is part of the Iraqi Counterterrorism Service.They're clearing those eastern neighbourhoods of Mosul city,doing this in a deliberate and incremental manner so as to safeguard the civilian population as much as possible.It may be one-third cleared in terms of acreage,but it's not one-third clear in terms of challenge and task ahead,because as they get closer to the center of the city,it's going to get dense and more fierce in the fighting,Captain Davis warned.*
According to a 16 November press conference by US Air Force Colonel John Dorrian,spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Baghdad,the Iraqi Security Forces continue to make progress in clearing Daesh (the Arab term for ISIL) from Mosul and have seen the fierce resistance they have planned for and we have been talking about for months.This is neighbourhood to neighbourhood fighting,particularly in the East,and the ISF have moved deliberately and have exercised a lot of restraint to protect civilian life.Daesh has done the opposite,taking human shields and dressing as ISF,then arresting civilians who respond positively to them.*
Iraqi Major General Maan al-Saadi said Wednesday that his counterterrorism forces are making headway in the Aden district of the city,400 kilometers north of Baghdad.He also warned of the presence of Daesh booby-traps and hidden IEDs there,al Sumaria TV reported in Arabic.*
ISIL has banned the use of cell phones and confiscated satellite TV dishes to hinder civilian comprehension of the liberation campaign.It has also been executing suspected civilian collaborators with the ISF and putting their bodies on display.Some 5-6,000 ISIL fighters are facing about 100,000 ISF,Kurdish and Shiite paramilitary fighters.OIR coaltion airpower and artillery strikes have been particularly helpful in clearing the ISIL Islamist extremist militants from the outlying areas of greater Mosul and the roads into the city.