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Mosul Street Fighting

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A new propaganda video released by the Islamic State group [IS] has revealed combat footage of the ongoing battle for Mosul, including multiple suicide car bombings and other attacks against Iraqi forces, reported The New Arab.

"God's Promise", as named by the group, was released late on Monday by the Wilayat Ninawa [Nineveh] media office.
It is the longest video released by IS since Iraqi forces began an offensive to retake the city from militant control.
Running for almost half an hour, the footage includes several drone shots of suicide car bomb attacks, ground shots of anti-tank missiles fired at Iraqi armoured vehicles and scenes of street-to-street fighting in Mosul.

"Our war against the infidels is a long war that has drained them, leaving only a few left over. They are on the verge of a massive collapse that will break their will," the video's narrator claims.
He also claims that 2,200 Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers have been killed so far during the Mosul offensive and that $420 million worth of equipment has been destroyed.
"Nine armoured vehicles, 18 bulldozers, 168 Humvees, 15 Abrams tanks, 33 BMPs, four T-90's, nine Predator drones and two MRAP armoured vehicles have been destroyed," the video also claimed.
In other disturbing shots, IS troops can be seen kicking and stomping the dead bodies of Iraqi soldiers.
Over the past week, the Iraqi military has inched slowly towards Mosul city centre, trying to avoid casualties among their troops and civilians as suicide bombers in armour-plated vehicles charge at them from hideouts in densely populated areas.

"The only weapons they have left are car bombs and explosives," said Iraqi special forces Major General Sami al-Aridi as he radioed with commanders in the field. "There are so many civilian cars and any one of them could be a bomb," he said.
Troops have built berms and road blocks to prevent car bombs from breaching the front lines. Since last week's speedy advance into Mosul proper, they have struggled to hold territory under heavy IS counterattacks.

The ongoing battle seeking to liberate the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants could last for several months, speaker of al-Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary forces said Tuesday as operations to recapture the city complete one month, reported Iraqi News.
Ahmed al-Asadi told that “the closer the troops become to their strategic targets, the slower the operations will be.” He reiterated that operations will take “months rather than weeks”, attributing his speculation to the fact that “Mosul is home for more than 1.25 million civilians,” explaining that al-Hashed al-Shaabi’s top concern is to ensure the safety for civilians during battles.

“The closer we get to our strategic targets; the enemies change their resistance tactics by resorting to street battles, making use of buildings. We expect operations to maintain the current pace which has lasted for more than ten days.”
Also on Tuesday, al-Hashed al-Shaabi media body said the forces had liberated four villages on the western axis of Mosul, becoming 18 kilometers away from the airport of the strategic town of Tal Afar.
“Should al-Hashed forces take control of Tal Afar airport, that would be a prelude to the liberation of the whole town and the obstruction of a main ISIS supply line to Mosul,” read the statement.
The imminent advance to Tal Afar has been contentious over the past weeks, with Turkey voicing fears of possible human rights violations by the mostly-Shia al-Hashed al-Shaabi against the Sunni Turkmen residents of the town.

Asadi, however, said the militia would handle the town “accurately and sensitively” due to its complicated status. He accused Turkey of seeking “a pretext to intervene in Iraqi affairs,” accusing Turkey and Saudi Arabia of providing logistic and weaponry support for the extremist group.
“At every battle, we see new weapons for ISIS entering Iraq through the Turkish borders with Saudi finance. They have killed us with their money for years,” Asadi stated.

Islamic State and Iraqi army snipers have been fighting over territories south and east of Mosul city on Tuesday as major clashes came to an abrupt stand still due to booby trapped roads that effectively halted army advancement, reported Rudaw.
Army commander Ahmed Kazem, whose force has pushed back militants in the districts of Intisar and Salam south of the city, told Rudaw the ISIS had blocked the streets with spike strips and concrete walls in addition to explosives planted along the roads.
"They have some fighting skills especially tactical roadblocks and preventing our convoys from further advancement, but they have no chance against us," Kazem said confidently about the ongoing sniper standoff between his men and the ISIS.
Army sources told Rudaw that over the past week ISIS snipers targeted soldiers as well as civilians indiscriminately and advised the residents in the area to remain indoors.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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