Human bomb attacks and oil fires slow advance on Mosul

Sky News:
Iraqi and Kurdish forces have seized a number of villages around Mosul - but their advance has been slowed by suicide bombers, roadside IEDs and oil fires.

The Peshmerga gained 80 square miles of territory from Islamic State during the first day of the huge military operation, according to the president of Iraq's Kurdish region.

Lt Col Mohammad Darwish of the Peshmerga said the main roads and fields were littered with homemade bombs.

Sky's Stuart Ramsay, who is embedded with the Kurdish fighters, said they were searching through outlying villages for IS fighters.

"They are literally going street-by-street trying to clear out any of the Islamic State if they are in here.

"They are not sure who is here - but they are being fired back at."

He also witnessed a coalition airstrike destroy a suspected suicide bomber in a truck who had been approaching the Kurdish forces.

An IS-run media outlet said the group had launched a series of suicide attacks on the advance, destroying at least two Humvees.

Retreating fighters also set oil alight throwing up thick black smoke to apparently cover their retreat and hide their positions from the aircraft flying overhead.
This is about what was expected of this stage of the operation.  ISIL is no longer forbidding retreat for its fighters and it lacks the capacity to mount an offensive in a different location as it has done in the past.

The wildcard in operation is the is theTurks and their desire to deny gains by Kurdish forces.  They may act as cockroaches messing up the battle plan.


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