Coalition Targets ISIS, Surrounded by Iraqi Forces in Western Mosul

ISIS has largely been surrounded in Western Mosul’s Old City, with US-led coalition jets repeatedly targeting the group. On Monday, five coalition strikes took out four ISIS tactical units, destroyed 27 fighting positions, multiple weapon systems and car bombs, a car bomb factory, and a dozen supply routes, according to US Central Command. The strikes have helped Iraqi forces surround Western Mosul, where they face a group of ISIS fighters using hundreds of thousands of civilians as shields, according to The Associated Press. “They know they will lose Mosul, but they want this to be a hard fight,” Maj. Saif Ali, an Iraqi Special Forces commander on the front lines, told the AP. Iraqi forces have retaken about 2,500 square kilometers of territory since the fight to clear Mosul started on Oct. 17, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday. About 700,000 civilians remain in western Mosul, including many who are being held hostage while thousands more attempt to flee. Last weekend, the UN delivered emergency food rations and other assistance to about 13,000 displaced people in Eastern Mosul, with more assistance to Western Mosul being planned. The UN’s International Organization for Migration estimates about 69,000 people are displaced as part of the fight for the city, UN spokeswoman Stephane Dujarric said Monday.