Residents of Mosul report that the city has become a ghost town. Many Islamic State militants have fled the city, but those that are left have become increasingly brutal, and people leave their homes only for essentials. Over one million civilians still live in the city, and many are being used as human shields during this operation. Some, however, have managed to escape. The International Committee Red Cross appealed to all sides to spare civilians.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim claimed that Turkey had come to an agreement to fly jets as part of the Coalition air mission but later admitted they had not yet participated. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded to the statement by saying the Turks were not permitted to join. Meanwhile, thousands of followers of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr protested against Turkish involvement outside the embassy in Baghdad.
Kurdish forces paused on day two of the operation after successfully advancing the eastern front five miles closer to Mosul. About 100 U.S. troops are embedded with the Peshmerga, but they are not at the front lines.
The Peshmerga forces may have been forced to halt because support from Iraqi forces was not available for their attempt to clear the greater Bashiqa area. Special forces commander, Brig. Gen. Haider al-Obeidi, said they were waiting on the Kurds.
Iraqi forces did advance in the areas of Hamdaniya and Houd. Hamdaniya is currently surrounded.
Heavy fighting is taking place in Abbasi and Kani Harami, with parts of each city being traded back and forth between Daesh and Iraqi hands.
Residents of Lazka are fighting the militants directly.
At least 180 people were killed and two were wounded. Reports from the Mosul arena will likely be undercounting casualties among security forces:
About 30 miles southeast of Mosul, an Iraqi soldier was killed repelling an attack that also left 10 militants dead.
Three Peshmerga fighters were killed trying to disarm explosives.
At least eight other suicide bombers have been reported.
Airstrikes left 37 militants dead in Shirqat.
In Sheikh Amir, security forces using a rocket-propelled grenade killed five militants.
Two militants were killed in a strike on Badana.
An airstrike killed a militant in charge of executions in Tel Waey.
Eighty bodies were found in a Daesh mass grave in Hit.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
- More Yazidi Victims Found in Mass Graves; 97 Killed in Iraq – December 16th, 2017
- Suicide Bomber Attacks Militia; 15 Killed in Iraq – December 15th, 2017
- Dozens of Sunnis Executed on Terror Charges; 53 Killed in Iraq – December 14th, 2017
- ISIS Attacks Troops, Mass Grave Found; 68 Killed in Iraq – December 13th, 2017
- UN Probes Right Abuses in Restive Tuz Khormato; Seven Killed in Iraq – December 12th, 2017