The assault on western Mosul has been progressing, apparently according to plan. The Iraqi army says it now controls all major roads out of Mosul including the road to Tal Afar, effectively isolating the city. Twenty six thousand civilians are said to have fled since the operation began, but hundreds of thousands remain. Snipe fire is a hazard to people fleeing.
There are reports, of uncertain credibility, that IS leaders have fled the city and even that IS leader Baghdadi has conceded defeat. Here is more on the purported message calling on fighters to flee Mosul. However, as of now, fierce resistance continues.
Iraqi forces take Badush prison, the site of a massacre of Shiites by IS in 2014. Iraqi forces also capture additional villages on the western outskirts of the city, and are within a kilometer of the main government complex, having captured the southernmost bridge over the Tigris. However, local repors say that IS fighters remain entrenched and that Iraqi forces were able to advance only after days of artillery and aerial bombardment.
Iraqi military reiterates that foreign partners, including U.S. forces, are not taking part in ground combat. However, there are reports that U.S. forces are very close to the front lines.
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