Mosul, Iraq — After one confirmed mustard gas attack and one that has yet to be identified; the Islamic State is threatening more chemical attacks on the beleaguered northern Iraqi city of Mosul. SOFREP confirmed this latest threat from ISIS with sources within the Iraq Special Operations Forces (ISOF) brigade that the Islamic State threat of additional chemical weapon attacks is being taken seriously and that the Iraqi Army has begun pulling out of key locations within western Mosul and surrounding the Islamic State strongholds claiming that some neighborhoods in Mosul have become too dangerous to operate in due to the threat of chemical attacks from ISIS still holding ground within parts of the city.
SOFREP also spoke with an ISOF Command Sergeant Major, who agreed to speak under the condition of anonymity, that U.S. and Australian Special Forces advisors have been recalled from the front lines due to this recent threat adding even more credibility that the Mosul offensive has hit a major roadblock in routing the Islamic State from Mosul, which is now under threat of chemical attacks. The source also confirmed that U.S.-led coalition warplanes have been pounding the al-Rifa’i district of western Mosul as well as the liberation of the al-Thawra neighborhood from ISIS by elements of Iraq’s elite Iraqi Counter-Terror Force, or ICTF earlier this morning. Iraqi Special Police spokesperson also confirmed that a coalition laser-guided bomb also killed a senior Islamic State commander who is suspected of being in charge of the terror group’s chemical weapons within Mosul.
Senior leadership within ISOF also informed SOFREP that the plan is for U.S.-led coalition aircraft to conduct heavy airstrikes on strongholds that the Iraqi Army is currently surrounding in order to destroy Islamic State fighters and any potential chemical weapons they may have within these pockets of resistance. Then elements of the Iraqi Army and its special forces will re-enter the neighborhoods and remove what is left of Islamic State resistance. The ISOF source stated that “We stand ready to retake [the] parts of Mosul, Daesh [ISIS] has fighters in, that threatened chemical attacks. It is just too dangerous to fight in Mosul now due to Daesh [ISIS] threat of chemical rockets.”
The Iraqi Army along with the U.S.-led coalition are taking this recent threat seriously, as the Islamic State have already launched two different chemical attacks over the past weekend in a desperate attempt to maintain its grip in northern Iraq. ISIS is on the ropes in Mosul and most analysts are claiming that the loss of Iraq’s second largest city will be all but a “deathblow to the caliphate.”
SOFREP will continue to monitor the situation and report updates as they come in.
Feature Image courtesy of the New York Times