By Staley Smith and the ISW Iraq Team
Key Take-Away: The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Peshmerga forces launched operations from eastern and southern axes to recapture Mosul and Ninewa province on October 17. Peshmerga and Iraqi Army (IA) units opened a northern front on October 20 from villages to the north and the Mosul Dam, northwest of Mosul. The Peshmerga and ISF, spearheaded by the Counter Terrorism Services (CTS), reached Mosul city limits on the eastern axis on October 24. ISF units on the southern axis, led by the Federal Police and Emergency Response Division (ERD) with support from Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization, launched the offensive farthest from Mosul and lag behind the northern and eastern axes, despite considerable progress capturing most of the Tigris River’s eastern bank near Qayyarah. An operational pause is in effect for units on the eastern axis until ISF units on the southern axis approach Mosul. ISW is updating the shape of the ISIS control zone near Mosul to reflect the current progress of the Mosul operation and changing the color of the southern axis to differentiate areas where the ISF operates exclusively and joint ISF and Iraqi Shia militias operate alongside one another.