Battle of Mosul (2015)
|Battle of Mosul (2015)|
|Part of Iraqi insurgency (2011–present),|
the Spillover of the Syrian Civil War, and
the Military intervention against ISIL
Location of the Nineveh Province in Iraq.
Republic of Iraq
|Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
|Commanders and leaders|
Abu Suleiman al-Naser (Replacement Military Chief)|
Shakir al-Hamdani † (3rd ISIL Governor of Mosul)
"Prince of Nineveh" †
(top ISIL commander in Mosul)
The Battle of Mosul (2015) refers to a planned offensive by the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, with air support from the American-led coalition, against the ISIL-occupied city of Mosul within Iraqi Kurdistan in Northern Iraq. The campaign is planned as an attempt to retake the city after the ISIL takeover of Mosul in June 2014. Although Peshmerga forces encircled the city on three sides by late January 2015, the Iraqi Army is expected to launch a battle for the city in May or August 2015. In anticipation of the outcome, and in reference to the objective of the campaign, the operation has also been referred to as the Liberation of Mosul by the Iraqi Army and allied forces.
Ever since the city of Mosul fell to ISIL forces on 10 June 2014, the United States and the Iraqi Government had been planning to retake the city. Initially, the original plan called for an assault on Mosul in July or August 2015, even though some US officials claimed that an attack at that point would be "too late." On December 25, 2014, after Hassan Saeed Al-Jabouri, the ISIL governor of Mosul, was killed by a US-led Coalition airstrike in Mosul, it was revealed that the US planned to retake the city of Mosul in January 2015. In late January 2015, Iraqi Army forces began preparing for the assault on Mosul.
Preparations for the offensive
On 21 January 2015, 5,000 Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers liberated multiple villages neighboring Mosul, amid speculation that the Iraqi Army was preparing for an assault on Mosul. The Peshmerga forces also disrupted essential ISIL supply routes between Mosul, Tel Afar, and Syria, and they reclaimed over 750 square kilometers of land in the region. However, Kurdish officials stated that they do not plan to move beyond the Kurdish-majority areas, and that retaking the city of Mosul itself was the responsibility of the Iraqi Army. An estimated 200 ISIL fighters were killed. Among the ISIL militants killed was the new ISIL governor of the Nineveh Governorate. Peshmerga forces also positioned themselves on three fronts to the northwest of Mosul, near Badush Dam. Kurdish forces reported firing 20 Grad missiles into Mosul, upon receiving intelligence that ISIL militants were gathering to meet near the city's Zuhour neighborhood. Firing from about 12 miles north of Mosul, Captain Shivan Ahmed said the rockets hit their targets. ISIL claimed that the rockets hit civilians.
On 22 January 2015, the US increased its number of airstrikes near Mosul to a record number of 16. The airstrikes struck two large ISIL units, two ISIL tactical units, an ISIL building, an ISIL mortar team, and destroyed six ISIL culverts, two ISIL bridges, three ISIL buildings, an ISIL artillery system, 11 ISIL vehicles, an ISIL fighting position, six ISIL staging positions, two ISIL heavy weapons, an ISIL VBIED, and four ISIL armored vehicles. The Royal Canadian Air Force also destroyed numerous ISIL targets around Mosul in support of ground forces.
On 23 January 2015, the heightened US airstrike campaign continued, with 8 airstrikes carried out within and near Mosul. The airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units and a large ISIL unit, and destroyed seven ISIL vehicles, two ISIL VBIEDs, an ISIL bulldozer, four ISIL buildings, an ISIL artillery system, an ISIL heavy weapon system, two ISIL armored vehicles, an ISIL shipping container, and an ISIL bunker.
On 27 January 2015, ISIL launched a surprise attack on the oil-rich Kurdish city of Kirkuk, in an attempt to draw Kurdish Peshmerga fighters away from Mosul. However, Peshmerga forces managed to staunch the attack and regain some lost territory in the region, with the US ramping up their airstrikes near Kirkuk to 19 on 1 February 2015, in response to the ISIL advance.
On 4 February 2015, Jordan began launching airstrikes on ISIL positions in Iraq, in retaliation for ISIL's brutal killing of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh. The airstrikes killed 55 ISIL militants in Mosul, including a senior ISIL commander known as the "Prince of Nineveh."
On 6 February 2015, an Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4 patrol worked closely with a coalition surveillance platform to provide air support for Peshmerga forces, who were engaged in close combat with ISIL terrorists near Mosul. When an ISIL mortar position opened fire on the Peshmerga, the Tornados responded with a Brimstone missile, scoring a direct hit.
On 9 February 2015, John Allen, the U.S. coordinator for the international coalition against ISIL, stated that the Iraqi Army, backed by Coalition airstrikes, will launch a ground offensive “in the weeks ahead” to regain the territory lost to ISIL, including the city of Mosul. On the same day, Coalition sources reported that the Peshmerga had recaptured additional territory near Mosul.
On 10 February, it was revealed that Peshmerga forces were only 6 to 9 miles away from the city center of Mosul, in the northwestern outskirts, and that they had managed to retake the Nineveh plains area (more specifically, the Tel Keppe District) to the north of Mosul. However, the Kurds stated that they were waiting for further orders to enter the outskirts of Mosul city.
On 12 February 2015, four Coalition airstrikes near Mosul destroyed two ISIL bulldozers, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL armored vehicle, an ISIL building, and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
On 17 February 2015, an Iraqi Colonel Masoud Salih stated that the battle to liberate Mosul would probably take 30,000 soldiers, and at least 10 months. Also, he stated that another Iraqi official had estimated a minimum of 12,000 ISIL militants present in the city, dismissing rumors of 30,000 militants being present as "ISIS propaganda."
On 20 February 2015, five Coalition airstrikes near Mosul struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored vehicle, an ISIL building, and an ISIL excavator.
In February 2015, talks began on whether or not Jordan's army will take part in the planned ground offensive.
In late February 2015, it was revealed that around 25,000 well-trained Iraqi ground troops, trained by American forces, will be deployed to retake the city of Mosul. Additionally, it was revealed that the Iraqi Army should join the liberation effort by April or early May 2015, with the intention of avoiding having to fight during Iraq's summer heat around Ramadan. It was also reported by US General Lloyd Austin that small numbers of US troops could join the fray, if they are needed.
On 1 March 2015, four Coalition airstrikes near Mosul struck two ISIL tactical units, an ISIL building, an ISIL excavator, and destroyed an ISIL building.
In early March 2015, it was reported that Turkey was planning to send ground troops to participate in the Liberation of Mosul, although a Turkish senior official stated that Turkey may limit its contributions to logistics.
On 4 March, the Iraqi Defense Minister stated that Iraq could retake Mosul without help from foreign ground forces.
On 6 March, it was reported that Shakir al-Hamdani, ISIL's third Governor of Mosul, was killed in a US-led Coalition airstrike.
On 11 March, ISIL threatened on loudspeakers to behead any civilian who tries to leave Mosul. The announcement came one day after US planes dropped paper pamphlets into the city, warning of an imminent military confrontation, and advising all civilians to evacuate the city. Also, on the same day, the US-led Coalition carried out five airstrikes in and around Mosul, which struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL outpost, and destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle.
On 11 and 15 March, RAF Tornado GR4 patrols attacked ISIL defenses around Mosul with Paveway IV laser-guided bombs and Brimstone missiles.
On 16 March, the Peshmerga bombed ISIL strongholds in the Forest area of central Mosul from Mount Baashiqa, killing and wounding dozens of ISIL fighters.
Between 19 and 20 March, the US-led Coalition carried out 4 airstrikes in and around Mosul, striking an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL rocket site, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and destroying seven ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL excavators. The airstrikes were revealed to have killed or wounded dozens of ISIL militants in western Mosul.
On 24 March, Peshmerga forces clashed with ISIL forces in eastern Mosul, killing 13 ISIL militants.
From 25 to 26 March, US-led Coalition airstrikes were reported to have killed over 150 ISIL militants in Mosul.
On 27 March, RAF Tornado GR4 patrols conducted an armed reconnaissance mission in the Mosul area, they identified an excavator being used by ISIL to construct defensive positions against the continuing Iraqi and Kurdish offensives, a Brimstone missile made a direct hit on the vehicle, destroying it.
On 3 April, RAF Tornado GR4 patrols conducted an intensive series of successful strikes to help disrupt an attempted ISIL attack south-east of Mosul. The first target was a vehicle which was hit by a Brimstone missile, two more Brimstone missiles and four Paveway IV laser-guided bombs were used against an armed pick-up truck and five terrorist positions.
On 5 April, the US-led Coalition conducted 5 airstrikes in and around Mosul, which struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL IED production facility, and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle, killing 18 ISIL militants in Western Mosul.
From 8 to 9 April, the US-led Coalition conducted 5 airstrikes in and around Mosul, which struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar tube, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL fighting position.
On 10 April, two RAF Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over Mosul on Friday 10 April and destroyed an ISIL vehicle with a Paveway IV precision guided bomb.
From 19–21 April, the US-led Coalition conducted 8 airstrikes in and around Mosul, which struck two ISIL staging areas, an ISIL IED factory, and multiple ISIL fighting positions, and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored vehicle, and an ISIL excavator.
On 3 May 2015, the Guardian reported that ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was recovering from severe injuries he received from a 18 March 2015 airstrike, in a part of Mosul. In the meantime, Abu Alaa Afri had assumed control of ISIL as Deputy Leader. It was also reported that al-Baghdadi's spinal injury, which left him incapacitated, means that he may never be able to fully resume direct command of ISIL.
From 1–2 May, the US-led Coalition conducted 5 airstrikes in and around Mosul, which struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL staging areas and two ISIL excavators. From 4–5 May, the US-led Coalition conducted 4 airstrikes in and around Mosul, which struck three ISIL fighting positions, destroying an ISIL excavator.
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- Syrian Civil War
- Libyan Civil War (2014–present)
- Military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
- American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present)
- Fall of Mosul
- First Battle of Tikrit
- Battle of Baiji (October–November 2014)
- Battle of Ramadi (2014–15)
- Battle of Baiji
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant occupation of Derna
- Fall of Nofaliya (2015)
- Battle of Sirte (2015)
- Siege of Kobanî
- Sinjar massacre
- Sinjar offensive
- Al-Hasakah offensive (February–March 2015)
- Second Battle of Tikrit (March–April 2015)
- Battle of Sarrin
- List of wars and battles involving the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
- Shia militias
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