The number of ISIS fighters left in Western Mosul is “probably well short” of 1,000, but it will be a “difficult fight” to clear the rest of the city, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman USAF Col. John Dorrian told reporters on Wednesday. The US-led coalition has been supporting Iraqi forces since ISIS captured Mosul in 2014 and the eastern half of the city was liberated in January. Each day, Iraqi Security Forces reduce the number of ISIS fighters and resources, such as vehicle born improvised explosive devices, in the western half, and they continue to maneuver around the city. “The last few neighborhoods will be very dangerous, difficult fighting,” but Dorrian said Iraqi forces, supported by US and coalition strikes, are “making progress toward that end every day.” Dorrian said post-military stabilization efforts will primarily be the responsibility of the Iraqi government, though it will receive support from the international community. The US military’s advise and assist mission will continue for the foreseeable future after western Mosul is liberated.
For 30 days in April and May, a group of expeditionary communications technicians got together at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, with one task: Find a way for the F-35 to transfer data on remote or contested Pacific islands.