The Islamic State launched a large three-pronged attack upon the Hashd in western Ninewa, and another against the Iraqi forces (ISF) in the south. IS attacked along the Tal Afar, Baaj, Blaij line with up to 17 car bombs and suicide bombers. The Hashd claimed they were trying to re-open the road from Mosul to Syria. The fighting lasted for half of the day. The insurgents also assaulted a Federal Police headquarters in Arbaj in the Hamam al-Alil district south of Mosul. 1 police was killed and six soldiers were wounded in the process. IS’s main strategy is to always attack. Given the wide open terrain these incidents took place in they were near suicide missions for the militants as their movements were easy to detect and turn back.
There were more casualties in the Mosul area. On February 11 two suicide bombers were killed, another hit a gathering of ISF killing 1 soldier and wounding 6 others, a sleeper cell was interdicted leading to a gunfight leaving 2 police dead and 4 injured, and drones hit four neighborhoods with 12 fatalities and 3 wounded. The next day, drones dropped explosives on seven areas, and there was also sniper and mortar file. In total, 24 people lost their lives and 12 wounded. The militants executed another ten just north of Mosul for trying to escape. IS is trying its best to terrorize the liberated sections of the city with constant shelling, drone hits, and infiltrations. In the areas still under its control it has been busy terrorizing the public as well.
The Joint Operations Command announced that all the security forces were in place for the attack on west Mosul. The Iraqi Air Force dropped flyers over west Mosul once again, calling on IS members to give up rather than fight. There were still talks about tactics however. The Command included the government’s propaganda line that most of the Islamic State’s leaders were dead, injured or had fled. Worries about IS operations in the east were holding up taking on the west.
The Telegraph had a good article on the attempts to secure east Mosul. There are major fears that IS will conduct more major attacks in liberated zones like they did on February 10 with three car bombs and a suicide bombing. The ISF are conducting searches throughout the city to hunt down IS members. People are becoming increasing paranoid as well. The paper talked with a man in Arabi who said that displaced people had moved into his neighborhood and he didn’t know who they were and he wanted them out because they might be a threat. East Mosul has only been under government control for a few weeks. An Iraqi general said it would take 30 days to root out all the sleeper cells. Given the size of the city and the fact that most of the population remained inside Mosul there are plenty of opportunities for IS to hide amongst civilians. There’s also the problem of insurgents constantly attempting to sneak fighters in as well. All together that probably means the threat of IS operations will continue into the foreseeable future.
Finally, the Washington Post was the latest to travel to the Qayara area to report on the oil well fires there. The Islamic State used to ship oil from the fields, but when they were forced out set fire to the wells. Today there are five still afire causing huge environmental and health problems to the area.
Adel, Loaa, "IS attacks on several areas of Mosul leaves at least 12 casualties," Iraqi News, 2/12/17
AIN, "Urgent popular crowd destroys 17 car bombs and kills 20 suicide bombers west of Mosul," 2/12/17
Europe Balkan Latest News, "5 killed, 300 hurt as Baghdad anti-government protests turn violent," 2/11/17
Holley, Peter, “Fireballs and booby traps: On the front lines with the oil workers battling ISIS,” Washington Post, 2/12/17
Iraq Oil Report, “Inside Mosul: Feb. 11, 2017,” 2/11/17
- “Inside Mosul: Feb. 12, 2017,” 2/12/17
MacDiarmid, Campbell, “’Isil will return’: forces search for jihadi sleeper cells in east Mosul, fearing surprise attacks,” Telegraph, 2/12/17
New Sabah, “Joint Operations Command military units deployed on several axes in preparation for storming East Mosul,” 2/12/17
NINA, "8 Civilians Killed By Targeting Funerals In Northern Mosul," 2/11/17
Rudaw, “ISIS launches wave of counterattacks against Hashd al-Shaabi west of Mosul,” 2/12/17
Shafaaq News, "Daesh executed five civilians shot to death north Mosul," 2/12/17
- "New attack by Daesh drones leads to injures east Mosul," 2/12/17
Sotaliraq, "Killing and injuring five civilians bombed by Daesh north Mosul," 2/12/17