Joint Operations Command Rejects Idea Iran Changed Mosul Battle Plan
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command rejected a report by Reuters that Iran had changed the battle plan to liberate Mosul from Islamic State (ISIS) by pressing and influencing the Iraqi government.
The Joint Operations Command released a statement saying that Reuter’s report was a “vision” that it has been created.
“We are surprised about the report by Reuters News Agency under the title “How Iran closed the Mosul 'horseshoe' and changed Iraq war,” the statement read. “That interpretation is a vision, has no real basis and has been created.”
The report hasn’t been confirmed by any military leader involved in operations and battle plans, the statement read.
“All the frontlines including the frontline of Hashid al-Shaabi are going according to the plan set by Iraqi Prime Minister and Commander in Chief, Haider al-Abadi,” the statement added.
Citing sources, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Iran had successfully pressed Iraq to change its battle plan and seal off the city.
Reuters also reported that Iran had lobbied for the Iranian-backed Hashid al-Shaabi to be sent to the western front to seal off the link between Mosul and Raqqa.
Some 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, security forces, Peshmerga fighters and mainly Shia paramilitary forces are participating in the assault that began on October 17, with air and ground support from a U.S.-led international military coalition.
The city is sealed off to the north, south and east, while to the west the Shia forces have cut the road to Syria and have advanced close to the ISIS-held town of Tal Afar, about 60 km (40 miles) from Mosul.
Militants still hold three-quarters of Mosul, where around 1 million residents are living under increasingly siege-like conditions as winter sets in.