[Due to largely static situations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I haven't updated this week until now.]
As Iraqi forces capture IS-held territory, the scale of IS weapons production is revealed. "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s weapons production was highly organized and sophisticated, relying on a “robust and reliable” supply chain from across the border in Turkey, according to a report by the London-based Conflict Armament Research group (CAR)." Iraqi forces have captured several sophisticated workshops for the production of mortars, rockets, and car bombs.
Iraqi military claims to have captured an IS media center in Mosul.
U.S. commanders worry that the hard battle for Mosul is causing severe damage to Iraq's elite 1st Special Operations Brigade which is chiefly responsible for progress in the city.
Iraq claims to have killed 20 IS commanders and 50 troops in an air strike near Tal Afar.
Institute for the Study of War provides an updated map on territorial control in Iraq. IS now controls only western Mosul, the area around Hawija, Qaim, and a sliver near Tal Afar. Note, however, that Shiite militias are the predominant force in southern Nineveh province, which has a mostly Sunni population, and that various Kurdish forces hold parts of northern Nineveh including the Mosul dam.
. . . speaking of which, Al Jazeera reports that danger of the Mosul dam collapsing is still high, and the result would be an unimaginable catastrophe. The only long-term solution is to build a new dam on firmer ground downstream, but that isn't happening.
Number of civilians displaced from Mosul nears 100,000.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Posted by Cervantes at 8:24 AM