By OpsLens Staff:
The Iraqi government has announced that the long awaited battle for Mosul has begun. The operation commenced in the early morning hours, Iraq local time, on Monday October 17th.
ISIS has had control of the city, one of two capitals for the self-declared caliphate, for over two years. After significant progress by Iraqi forces, ISIS has lost more than thirty percent of their holdings and Mosul is considered to be the extremist group’s last bastion of power within Iraq.
While it is anticipated that the U.S. backed Iraqi forces will eventually reclaim the embattled city, it is believed that the operation will likely be a messy and prolonged effort. ISIS has had ample time to prepare for the battle, one they consider to be apocalyptic in nature, and have dug tunnels and placed explosives throughout the city.
Prior to the beginning of fighting, Iraqi forces dropped leaflets over the city, instructing residents to not panic and to seal their doors and windows.
OpsLens will provide additional updates and commentary on the situation in Mosul as they become available.