MESOP “SIHAD BARZANI”:Kurds Say They Are Closing on Mosul

31 Oct 2016 – After a week with little progress, Kurdish commanders say the Iraqi-Kurdish offensive is closing on Iraq’s second city Mosul.“We have accomplished our mission and now we are about 5 to 6 kilometres (3 to 4 miles) away from Mosul,” Peshmerga commander Sihad Barzani said on Sunday. Kurdish forces took a series of villages in the initial days of the offensive, which began two weeks ago, but have been preoccupied with the surrounding of Bashiqa, an important town for supply lines about 12 km (7.5 miles) north of Mosul.

Kurdish officials have said that their forces will not enter Mosul, under an agreement with the Baghdad Government to let the Iraqi army take the lead. However, one Kurdish official said peshmerga will continue until “all military objectives are achieved”.“We have not discussed with Baghdad whether Peshmerga forces would halt their advancement in Kurdish areas,” Jabar Yawar said.An Iraqi commander claimed that the first Iraqi special forces will soon be at the outskirts of Mosul.“Military plans are going on well and in a few hours we will reach Mosul’s city limits,” said Abdulghani Assadi, a commander in Iraqi counter-terror forces:

The Iraqi forces are coming closer to Mosul from all directions. The Peshmerga have stopped now and carried out their plans, now we are completing the rest of the plan from our fronts. The Iraqi special forces halted last week about 4 km (2.5 miles) east of Mosul to allow other troops to gather and to wait for advances on other fronts.To the south, the Iraqi army and Federal Police are still about 30 km (19 miles) from Mosul.

The Iraqi Government issued a statement on Monday morning, “As part of the operation to liberate Nineveh Province from ISIS, offensives resumed on the Bartella, Tahrawa and Ali Rash fronts east of Mosul city.”