Thousands of civilians are now able to flee eastern districts of Mosul and are heading toward refugee camps that are filling up quickly. Some of the residents are trying to escape the fighting, but others are fearful of the security forces who have come to battle the Islamic State militants. Some forces are reportedly abusing civilians in newly liberated villages to the east, underscoring the need to address the sectarian issues that allowed ISIS/Daesh to succeed in the first place.
Lieutenant-General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, who is a special forces commander, said troops were progressing faster than expected in eastern Mosul and that the militants appear weaker than they were in Ramadi. The fighting is expected to be tougher in the older, cramped sections of western Mosul.
Coalition Spokesman, Air Force Colonel John Dorrian assured reporters there are no plans for U.S. troops to enter Mosul, but those plans could change at a later date.
In a development that will likely go ignored, Prime Minster Haider al-Abadi said that he is ordering Shi’ite militias and Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) members from entering Tal Afar.
The villages of Dhibaniya and Khurtan were liberated.
At least 69 people were killed and 10 were wounded in recent violence:
Gunmen killed a woman and her son in Shirqat.
A sticky bomb planted on a killed in Jbela wounded a man and his daughter.
Rockets were fired at security forces, but the number of casualties, if any, was not reported. Security forces, likewise, are shelling militant targets. In Gogjiali, security forces fired shots in the air to disperse a crowd that had gathered to receive aid.
A strike on Dawood Alokah killed four militants.
Three militants were killed and 10 were wounded by a strike on Qawaz Arab.
Strikes on Hammam al-Alil left dozens of militants dead.