The battle for the west side of Mosul is very important not only for Iraq but for the whole world as Mosul is one of the biggest strongholds for ISIS, the Iraqi military and Shia militia also participating in the battle of Mosul.
Manoeuvres are now to the east side of Mosul though the west is still facing some attacks from ISIS by the use of drones, bombs and car bombs, in addition to there being many sleeper cells still working against the Iraqi military.
The west of Mosul is a dangerous battle, military leaders stating that around 40% of peope having been liberated from the city of Nineveh. There are 92 residential areas and streets, in addition to 20 government departments.
The estimated number of residents in the right, or eastern side of Mosul, is approximately 750,000, the United Nations expecting 500,000 people displaced from the west side,
So let’s also talk about what is important in the eastern side of Mosul. There are seven big hospitals and a medical college, the oldest college in Iraq. The right, or eastern side is very important because it is the link between Iraq and Syria, as well as hosting a large commercial centre.
There are residential areas like “17 Tammuz” and “al-Yarmouk” which are dangerous districts on the eastern side due to being strongholds for ISIS as confirmed by military sources.
There is also Mosul airport and Ghazlani military base, the largest base. In addition there are around 30 monuments and the al-Nuri Mosque where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared for the first time, as well as 25 old and new churches, like the Roman Catholic Church (built by the Dominican Fathers in Nineveh Street in 1893).
The US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis said there are 2,000 Daesh fighters in the west of Mosul. Western sources said it will be a very difficult battle and will continue for a long time, more than the battle on the left side. Now Iraqi forces and Shia militia “Hashd al-Shaabi” have trapped ISIS and cut off their supplies.
The political leaders are now talking about what will happen after Daesh in Mosul. The biggest problem will be after the battle, Iraqi political leaders including the Kurdish leaders, US leadership, Turkish government, Iran and some neighboring countries, all have ideas about Mosul and how it will be after Daesh, how they will control it, and how they will divide it between them.
But they forget what the people of Mosul want, and how they will help them to forget the injustices of ISIS, how they will rebuild the women, children and their lives.
Human rights organizations warned of violations and sectarian reprisals, especially after participation of the popular crowd militias. On numerous occasions Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the popular crowd will not enter Mosul city but they have already entered, something we can see from the photos and videos published in newspapers and on TV.
For three days the Arab tribals, who lived on the right side of Mosul, protested against the participation of the popular crowd militias “Hashd al-Shaabi” and demanded that the Abadi government prevent them from entering their city, as well as the opening of safe corridors for besieged families.
We have to note also that Daesh occupied Nineveh Province in June 2014 and imposed on Mosul people their extremist laws, including many mass executions. During the ISIS government of Mosul for example, most of the phone lines had been cut by ISIS, many cell phone towers and internet access points destroyed, as well as the destruction of many monuments in Mosul.
ISIS also ordered men there to grow moustaches and beards, men in Mosul not allowed to wear jeans. For the women in Mosul ISIS forced them to wear a cloth that covered their body completely from the head, including the face, to the feet.