Advance into western Mosul moving slowly
The Iraqi advance into Mosul’s western half slowed Saturday as combat turned to urban warfare and Iraqi forces met stiff resistance from Islamic State fighters.
Special forces Lt. Gen. AbdulWahab al-Saadi said that his troops are “moving very slowly” and that ISIS fighters are responding with car bombs, snipers and dozens of armed drones.
The drones have caused relatively few deaths but have inflicted dozens of light injuries that have disrupted the pace of ground operations.
Al-Saadi said the Mamun neighborhood was particularly difficult because its streets are not organized in a grid, a difficulty that foreshadows obstacles Iraqi forces expect to face in the narrow alleyways of western Mosul’s historic district.
But al-Saadi said he expects the pace to increase after Iraqi forces retake territory and infrastructure on Mosul’s southwestern edge — which will allow them to shorten supply lines and link up with forces in the city’s east.