ISIS retakes suburb in eastern Mosul while the Iraqi Army prepares to envelop the city

By Chris Tomson

Yesterday, the Iraqi Army’s federal police imposed full control over Hammam al-Alil, the last major town on the southern front of Mosul. In addition, Iraqi troops confirmed killing Abu Hamza Al-Ansari, a prominent Algerian ISIS commander in the assault on the town.

Nevertheless, the Islamic State was able to score a symbolic victory and recapture the entire Aden neighbourhood and its industrial zone in the eastern part of Mosul city after several suicide bombings prompted the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division, Iraqi special forces and Nineveh Plain Protection Units (Assyrian paramilitary) to withdraw from the district earlier today. Amaq Agency claimed ISIS fighters seized 11 Hummers, 5 Cougar vehicles during the advance.

Currently, the Iraqi Armed Forces hold control over the neighbouring suburbs of Qarqouli, Samah, Khadrah, Karameh, Mayleen, and Quds. However, with deadly urban warfare ongoing as we speak, ISIS still controls approximately 95% of Mosul city which is home to over 1,000,000 predominately Sunni residents, thousands of which have fled as refugees.

The Iraqi Army first entered Mosul city on October 3rd, almost three weeks after the US-backed campaign to liberate the provincial capital of Nineveh province began.

For now, the Islamic State has contained the rapidly advancing pro-government ‘Popular Mobilization Units’ (PMU) west of Mosul. Here, ISIS attacks destroyed 2 Iraqi Hummers and damaged a third at the village of Arbid on Sunday.

On a separate frontline, ISIS fighters overran an outpost near ar-Rutbah city in the western part of Anbar province and seized a lot of weaponry from the Iraqi Army.

A few weeks ago, Ar-Rutbah witnessed a major ISIS offensive which saw jihadist forces capture most of the city but eventually repelled by Iraqi forces.

Amaq Agency also claimed 4 US military contractors were killed by an IED in the Tamim area southwest of Ramadi. This cannot be independently verified by Al-Masdar News.

In the coming weeks, the PMU leadership hopes to cut off ISIS’ supply line to Mosul and reach another ISIS-held city, Tal Afar.

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