Islamic State fighters are deploying their wives and children against the Iraqi Security Forces in their last bastions within the city of Mosul, Iraqi commanders tell the Associated Press.
The deluge of suicide bombers is reportedly slowing down the ISF in their last push against the terrorist group in Mosul. The Iraqi Security Forces killed 27 suicide bombers on Thursday alone, drawing significant resources from ground and air forces. The strategy has made advancement in Mosul a grueling street-by-street slog and has dragged on operations for nearly eight months.
ISIS now controls only “one half of a square kilometer” in Mosul, Pentagon Spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters Wednesday. Canadian Armed Forces Brig.-Gen. D.J. Anderson of Operation Inherent Resolve told reporters Thursday he expects ISIS’s pocket of territory to be gone by next week. The group has approximately a few hundred fighters remaining.
“The women are fighting with their children right beside them,” an Iraqi general lamented to AP. “It’s making us hesitant to use airstrikes, to advance. If it weren’t for this we could be finished in just a few hours,” he continued.
Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters in late June there is serious discord among the terror group’s last “few hundred” fighters left in Mosul. “We have reflections of serious internal conflict within ISIS’s ranks, leaders have abandoned fighters to die, local fighters are being left to rot where they fall while foreign fighters receive proper burials, and remaining inexperienced fighters making rookie mistakes blow themselves up accidentally in preparation for combat,” he elaborated.
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