Change in strategy leads to improve results against ISIL in Mosul operations
Washington Free Beacon:
A shift in strategy combining a troop surge with increased coordination of artillery and air power has driven ISIS terrorists from their strongholds on the eastern bank of the Tigris river in the strategic city of Mosul, Iraq.The new strategy appears to be a return to combined arms operations that put much more pe=ressure on an enemy and make its defensive moves much more limited.
American and allied aircraft, alongside U.S. advisers and thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police, have won the first phase of a campaign to retake the most populous city in northern Iraq.
Col. John Dorrian of the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force said in an exclusive interview with the Washington Free Beacon that the new strategy, which was put into effect at dawn on Dec. 29 and continues to this day, is the reason coalition forces have been victorious over the past four weeks.
The Iraqi government announced Jan. 24 that it had full control of east Mosul. Liberating west Mosul may be easier because of lessons learned, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.
Increased coordination allowed for synchronized attacks carried out by the Iraqi Army, Iraqi Federal Police, and Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service, according to Dorrian.
Additionally, coalition forces provided aircraft to destroy terrorist strongholds and provide overhead surveillance and intelligence on enemy movements.
Coordinated ground attacks and punishing airstrikes contributed to the slow but steady decline of ISIS in the area. Each day, ISIS lost more than 20 fighters. The terror group was pushed out of the entire eastern half of Mosul by mid-January, though mop-up operations continued through the end of the month. The Iraqi Army held a victory press conference on Jan. 18, and the Iraqi government announced on Jan. 24 it had full control of east Mosul.
Now, Iraqi counter-terrorism forces are poised to strike inside west Mosul, across the Tigris River from the newly freed portion of Mosul.