Losing Ground, ISIS Terrorists in Mosul Coerce Population With Death Threats

Coalition planning 'third stage' of Mosul liberation process

Iraq Mosul
Smoke rises from the western side of Mosul following a U.S.-led coalition airstrike / AP
February 7, 2017

ISIS terrorists continue to lose ground and are forcing Mosul residents to collaborate with them or face death, according to Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force—Operation Inherent Resolve.

"Its leaders are accusing citizens of spying, and tragically, they are executing people who don't cooperate with them in some cases," Dorrian told reporters on Wednesday.

"They've also lost trust in some of their fighters and they've even done executions against their own fighters," he said.

A security source told Sumeria TV that ISIS executed three of its commanders, in the Al-Dawasa area on Jan. 31. The three commanders were accused of fleeing the battles in east Mosul.

ISIS commanders have demanded that every landlord in the Old City cut an escape opening in the wall separating his house from his neighbor's house so that terrorists can flee easily from one house to another without exiting doors and eluding Coalition aircraft or drones, according to Ayad Salih, head of the Iraqi Development Office in Erbil.

"One week ago, ISIS told West Mosul residents 'if you don't create these escape exits, we will kill you,'" said Salih, whose office monitors living conditions in West Mosul.

Since the city has been blockaded for more than three months, food in West Mosul is limited for the many families who live there.

"Today a kilo of rice costs the equivalent of $20 in West Mosul, but most people don't have money," said Salih, whose cousins still live on the West Bank.

Salih said he believes there are still one million people in West Mosul and starvation will be acute by the end of February.

Dorian's briefing and emails, exclusively sent to the Washington Free Beacon, covered Coalition strategy to bring the battle to closure.

"The terrain in West Mosul makes it a challenge to clear," according to Dorrian.

"On the ground, the narrowness of the roads and the density of the buildings sets conditions for close fighting," he said.

Dorrian told reporters that the Coalition is concerned about recovering the packed housing sections of West Mosul with a minimal unintended wounding or killing of civilians, a problem known as "collateral damage."

"Some of you have asked if the coalition will be able to capably support the ISF with airstrikes in such challenging terrain with drastically increased civilian casualties—without causing drastic increases in civilian casualties or collateral damage. We can," Dorrian said.

Dorrian explained why a new class of precision-guided rockets will be a key to success in Mosul.

"One of the ways that we do that is through the selection of munitions," Dorrian said. "An example of one of these munitions is the advanced precision kill weapons system two. This is a laser-guided, high-precision, low-collateral damage weapon that provides the capability to engage targets, including moving targets, in dense urban terrain."

"These weapons were fielded last year within six months of congressional approval, and are now being used for close-air support missions by Air Force A-10s and Marine AV-8B Harriers," he said. "Since June 2016, more than 200 of these munitions have been employed against enemy fighters, oil tanks, and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, among other targets. More than 60 have been used in and around Mosul."

Joint Operations Command (JOC) said it finalized the plans for the "third stage" of liberation process, to take back the west side of Mosul, Iraqi media reported Thursday.

"The JOC says tactical air attacks are a part of the plan as is using the Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) to cut off routes leading to Syria. It says it is awaiting the commander in chief's orders to proceed with the operation," reported Ali Sada, editor of Daesh Daily, an anti-ISIS war digest.

The Iraqi federal police commander has said his forces are waiting south of Mosul for the commander-in-chief's orders to start the operation. Additionally, he noted that Daesh is losing control over its fighters in West Mosul. ISIS executed seven of its combatants after a failed attempt to cross the river from the west to the east side of Mosul, Sada reported Thursday.

Published under: ISIS