IRAQ

Six Months On, ISIS Has Its Own Numbers For Mosul

ISIS released its own accounting for the six-month long battle for Mosul, including a claim of 400 suicide attacks

IRAQ
Apr 20, 2017 at 11:24 AM ET

The battle for the Iraq city of Mosul is stretching into its seventh month, and while the eastern half of the city was liberated last January, progress on the other side of the Tigris River has been slower.

The Iraqi army has been pushed into door-to-door fighting inside Mosul’s Old City, where some 400,000 civilians are trapped, according to the UN. Those who’ve managed to escape say there is almost nothing to eat but flour mixed with water and boiled wheat grain, Reuters reported.

Along with the many other statistics released by human rights organizations, the U.S. military and the Iraqi forces, the Islamic State routinely publishes its own, through its Amaq News Agency. In its latest release, the group claims that since last October, ISIS has carried out over 400 suicide attacks and killed at least 9,000 Iraqi troops.

In addition, ISIS claims it has destroyed hundreds of Iraqi military vehicles and drones and confiscated dozens of others. The figures by the ISIS’ propaganda wing couldn’t be independently verified, but Iraqi forces and their coalition partners have sustained numerous injuries and fatalities.

ISIS numbers for the sixth month of fighting in Mosul, released by Amaq News Agency

At least 13,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting, with more than half of those women and children, reported al-Araby al Jadeed, and human rights advocates who said that number could increase significantly as the urban battles grind on. Last month the U.S.-led coalition acknowledged that it had hit an ISIS-held area of western Mosul where officials say up to 200 civilians may have been killed, in what marked the greatest loss of civilian life since the United States began strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The operation to take back Mosul launched in mid-October and is led by Iraqi forces, Kurdish Peshmerga and Iranian-backed Shiite forces on the ground, alongside U.S. and other foreign air support. More than 100,000 militants are reportedly taking part in the operation, the largest offensive in Iraq since the U.S. invasion of 2003.