Coalition forces have this week blown up 100 boats of Islamic State militants desperately fleeing Mosul. Video footage captured the boats being struck as they crossed the Tigris River which runs through the Iraqi city.
The cowardly militants had taken to the water to escape the east of the city which has been secured by Iraqi forces in recent days. Since the Mosul operation began in October, 112 ISIS boats have been struck on the Tigris.
Iraqi generals have been celebrating gains in recent weeks, but the final push to secure Mosul is ongoing. Lt. Gen. Abdul-Ghani al-Asadi enjoyed a celebratory tour after the city’s east was declared largely liberated on Wednesday.
He said: ‘Our message to the rest of Mosul’s residents is that victory is near.’
The progress of Iraqi forces, halting at first, sped up this month as they closed in on the river that roughly divides Mosul into eastern and western halves.
But that momentum is unlikely to be sustained and the city’s western half is poised to be a much tougher fight for the already fatigued forces.
When Sgt. Maj. Hussam Abdul-Latif pushed into Andalus on the morning of January 16, he said the fight for the small neighborhood about a kilometer from the Tigris was nothing like his earlier battles in Mosul.