Efforts by a US-led coalition to support Iraqi operations to retake Mosul, the largest city still held by ISIS in the country, continued apace in the days since the operation kicked off on October 16.
The coalition has struck a plethora of ISIS targets, including a repeater tower near Mosul that was hit in an October 16 strike, a clip of which can be seen below.
That October 16 strike was one of four near the city that day, which targeted ISIS tactical units, assembly areas, tunnels, supply dumps, four repeater tower generators, weapons systems, energy infrastructure, and vehicles. October 17 saw four more strikes on ISIS infrastructure and resources near the city, followed by two strikes on October 18, three more on October 19, five strikes on October 21, and four strikes on October 22.
More than 5,000 US personnel are on the ground supporting the Iraqi army and allied forces in their efforts to wrest control of Iraq’s second-largest city away from the Islamic State.
- Thomson Reuters
Many of those personnel are members of US special-operations units, who have been heavily involved in operations to identify and eliminate the terrorist group’s senior and mid-level leaders in the area, with the aim of hobbling ISIS’ ability to operate in Iraq and Syria and to launch attacks outside those areas.
“We are killing those that are hatching those plots. We are killing the leadership of ISIL. We are getting more and more effective at doing that, and that’s also necessary to protect our people, and our folks are very skillful at that and getting better and better at it. A very high priority for all of us,” US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a visit with US and coalition forces in Erbil, some 45 miles north of Mosul, according to Defense One.
One US sailor has already been killed one the ground in Iraq. Jason Finan, a 34-year-old chief petty officer in the US Navy, was attached to a SEAL team advising Iraqi Counterterrorism Forces and died from wounds sustained in an improvised-explosive-device detonation in northern Iraq.
More than 100 US advisers and Joint Attack Controllers have advanced in support of the Mosul operation, along with Apache attack helicopters.
You can see the full video of the October 16 strike on the Operation Inherent Resolve Facebook page.