Iraqi forces pressure ISIS west of Mosul > US Department of Defense > Defense Department News

Iraqi security forces are increasing pressure to drive the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria out of western Mosul, Iraq, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, director of press operations, told reporters today. Pentagon.

“There had been a bit of a slowdown in progress recently, some due to weather, some due to repositioning,” Davis said. “We now have progress underway from the northwest, up to and including the banks of the Tigris.”

Make progress

Today marks the 76th day of the West Mosul liberation operation, he said. “Yesterday, 24 square kilometers were recaptured along the front line of the troops, mainly in the northwestern area, and since the start of the offensive west of Mosul, 550 square kilometers have been recaptured in the area alone. west of Mosul.”

Near Mosul, Davis said, “we continue to carry out strikes, engaging ISIS tactical units and a sniper team, destroying mortar systems, combat positions, heavy machine guns, tactical vehicles, buildings held by ISIS, an anti-aircraft artillery system, a command-and-control node, a [vehicle-borne improvised explosive device], an ISIS bridge, a front loader, a weapons cache, a rocket system and a VBIED factory as well as combat positions. Thus, the air strikes in support of this new line of effort are considerable.

Tabqa, Syria

In Syria, the area in and around the town of Tabqah remains the focus of efforts, Davis said.

“We are transporting the Syrian Democratic Forces across the river and bringing them in by air, [which] has made tremendous progress in first isolating and now liberating Tabqah,” he said.

Since this morning, he added, more than 80% of Tabqa has been cleared. ISIS still controls the Tabqah Dam, “but it’s doing so right now hanging by a thread, in terms of control capability,” Davis said.

“Tabqah and the Tabqah Dam are two of the last elements needed to isolate Raqqa,” he said, adding that it is very difficult for ISIS fighters to cross the Euphrates and its bridges at Raqqa were destroyed.

“And the homeless now control [land] up the banks of the river to Raqqa,” he said.

As the SDF surrounds the dam, coalition forces can continue to monitor water levels and infrastructure security to prevent ISIS from threatening Syrians throughout the Raqqa Valley, he said. declared.

“We continue to support our partners’ operations to isolate Raqqa and have conducted dozens of successful strikes over the past week against ISIS combat positions and weapon systems,” Davis said.

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)

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