The western areas of Mosul is where ISIS fighters are known to be holding onto a swath of neighborhoods. The Iraqi army, federal police and elite rapid response units are involved in the push, and they would have called in the Iraqi Air Force but the pilot called in sick.
The level of danger has caused the push to Mosul to move slower than liberal politicians handing over their emails.
Over 4,600 security forces have been injured and 774 killed in over six months of fighting, according to one U.S. official. The problem is the ISIS controlled neighborhoods contain hundreds of thousands of frightened people and Iraqi forces need to go door-to-door to fight them.
An Iraqi ministry of defense spokesman said that for those battling the Islamic State, it will be a choice of "victory or martyrdom," meaning that the fighting will be to the death.
But as a precaution, Iraqi forces appear to be circling the old city before going in to clear it. The Iraqi federal police are just a few hundred yards from the al-Nuri mosque where ISIS head scumcrumpet, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, made a 2014 public appearance declaring the city their caliphate after taking over about a third of Iraq.
It certainly will not be easy to get to the mosque because the layout of the city favors those under its cover. The streets are narrow and buildings can harbor snipers and suicide bombers who are more than willing to run up to an enemy, blow themselves up, and get a bevy of virgins and boys . . . don't forget the young 'pretty' boys.
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