Small Wars Journal

Blood, Dirt and Bombs: Battle for Mosul is Fierce Urban War

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 9:46pm

Blood, Dirt and Bombs: Battle for Mosul is Fierce Urban War by Michael Georgy, Reuters

As Iraqi troops battled to gain ground a few streets away, soldiers in the Mosul district of Intisar wrapped a wounded and bloodied colleague in a blanket, lifted him off his Humvee, and sped him away from the frontlines for treatment.

Heavy shooting and mortar fire shook the neighborhood, which the soldiers were trying to recapture from Islamic State militants who have held Mosul for more than two years.

Fighting their way into the city this week, soldiers have gained a foothold in the eastern districts. A trip to the battlefront by Reuters journalists, one of the first visits into Mosul itself, showed the scale of the battle they face.

The thud of explosions boomed across the city streets and black smoke rose from an area about five blocks away. Many buildings were covered in a layer of black soot and one yellow house had a hole blown into it…

The battle to drive Islamic State out of Mosul is the biggest ground operation in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and is likely to decide the fate of the self-proclaimed Islamic State caliphate that has defied the world since 2014…

Read on.