After successfully clearing the eastern portion of the northern Iraq city of Mosul earlier this month, the Iraqi Security Forces are finally ready to push across the Tigris river and continue to clear what little parts of the western half of the city that still remain under ISIS control.
ISIS, however, has made a number of last-ditch efforts to slow down and hamper the progress of Iraqi Forces (ISF) and U.S. Advisers in the area, by throwing waves of IED laden vehicles, suicide bombers, and even commercial drones carrying grenades at fighters in the city.
The newest information coming from Iraqi Security Forces inside the city is that the Islamic State has rigged many of the standing structures with booby traps and explosives, aimed at killing as many fighters and civilians in the crossfire as possible when ISF and peshmerga fighters push into the western part of the city.
USA Today reported that along with floggings, mutilations, and executions on the civilian populace, the Islamic State has also resorted to forcibly drafting children to fight alongside their own child fighters, known as “cubs of the caliphate.”
The ISF hopes to coordinate the attack on western Mosul with the third phase operations taking place on the city of Raqqa in Northern Syria by Syrian Defense Forces.