Assessing The Battle For Eastern Mosul

Mosul, Iraq (Institute for the Study of War)

Alexander Mello and Michael Knights have published an assessment of the urban combat in eastern Mosul between Iraqi Security Forces, supported by U.S. and other allied forces, and Daesh fighters.

From the abstract:

The Islamic State’s defense of Mosul has provided unique insights into how the group has adapted its style of fighting to dense urban terrain. While the Islamic State failed to mount an effective defense in the rural outskirts and outer edges of Mosul, it did mount a confident defense of the denser inner-city terrain, including innovative pairing of car bombs and drones. The Islamic State continues to demonstrate a strong preference for mobile defensive tactics that allow the movement to seize the tactical initiative, mount counterattacks, and infiltrate the adversary’s rear areas. Yet, while the Islamic State has fought well in Mosul, it has also been out-fought. Islamic State tactics in the final uncleared northwestern quarter of Mosul are becoming more brutal, including far greater use of civilians as human shields.

The article is in the latest edition of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point’s CTC Sentinel.

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Shawn Woodford
Shawn Woodford

Shawn Robert Woodford, Ph.D., is a military historian with nearly two decades of research, writing, and analytical experience on operations, strategy, and national security policy. His work has focused on special operations, unconventional and paramilitary warfare, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, naval history, quantitative historical analysis, nineteenth and twentieth century military history, and the history of nuclear weapon development. He has a strong research interest in the relationship between politics and strategy in warfare and the epistemology of wargaming and combat modeling.

All views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of any other private or public organization or entity.

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