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Large Numbers of Refugees Expected as Mosul Operations Commence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Caption: Iraqi refugee shares harrowing story of life in ISIS-held Fallujah / Reuters

Baghdad – Iraqi Speaker Salim al-Jabbouri announced that retrieving Fallujah after two years of ISIS control will lead the way towards seizing Mosul, second largest city in Iraq.

Nineveh Operations Command announced that the second phase of liberation operations of southern Mosul have terminated.

During a press conference in Fallujah General Hospital, Jabbouri said that liberating Falluja will lead to liberating Mosul. He added that the case of refugees needs more efforts to end there struggles as soon as possible.

Spokesman of Joint Special Operations Command in Nineveh Bashar al-Sabri said that the second phase led to liberation of several towns. He declared that phase three will begin within few days.

Commander at Tribal Mobilization Forces Yazan Jabbouri told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that military plan to advance towards al-Qayara will be reevaluated due to certain issues. He added that leadership was hasty in announcing the liberation of certain towns that haven’t been liberated.

According to Jabbouri the fierce clashes with ISIS that led to delay in the liberation of the area. He explained the plan that included advancing towards Qayyarah base to meet forces in Makhmour, yet that didn’t happen.

Jabbouri added that the plan has changed now and local police along with the tribes will take control of the land after liberation.

Debates are still heating whether Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias should participate in Nineveh operations.

Nineveh council issued a statement last week refusing PMF participation in Mosul.

Head of Turkmen Front and MP Arshad Salihi told Asharq Al-Awsat that Nineveh is a combination of people of all sects, and therefore all parties share in the liberation.

Salihi added that Turks occupy a large area of the district and thus, are entitled more than others to liberate their areas from terrorism. He added, given that ISIS is witnessing its worse days, that it is vital to invest this for what is best for Iraqis regardless of religion or sect.

Meanwhile, Nineveh governor Hassan al-Allaf said Nineveh local government presented a plan to the government to save as much of civilians during the liberation operations.

Allaf said that the numbers of refugees expected to leave Mosul are larger than Fallujah. He added that a budget should be set to provide services and supplies for the refugees as the district won’t be able to do so itself.

MP Intisar al-Jabbouri also told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS leaders are aware that security forces are drawing near. She added that currently ISIS members are evacuating their families to safer areas outside Mosul, and outside of Iraq.