Local force expected to keep ‘peace and stability’ in east Mosul28/1/2017
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq has created a “hold force” of local fighters from Nineveh who will move into east Mosul to provide security for the population once that side of the city has been declared free of all ISIS remnants.
“The peace and stability that’s been established by the brave fighting that the Iraqis and Peshmerga forces have done here in the last few months has to be preserved with a hold force,” coalition spokesperson Col. John Dorrian told Rudaw TV on Friday.
The force will consist of local fighters and will deployed in the days ahead, Dorrian explained.
Yahya Rasoul, spokesperson for the Iraqi defense ministry and joint military command, told Rudaw TV earlier that this hold force will consist of “forces from the heroic Iraqi army in partnership with the command of the Nineveh police, and Hashd al-Shaabi from the people of Nineveh.”
The force will be headed by the commander of the 16th Division who will command and control the east side of the city, Maj. Gen. Joe Martin, commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq, said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
However, according to Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander for the Nineveh Operations, it appears that the same forces that drove ISIS out of eastern Mosul will be the ones holding the liberated sector.
“After the liberation of the left coast of Mosul, the mission to hold the ground on the eastern side has been tasked to the joint forces of the Iraqi army, the Counter Terrorism Forces, the Quick Response, the Federal Police, the Nineveh police, and the Hashd al-Shaabi from the people of Nineveh,” Yarallah said in a press release on Friday.
At the moment, Iraqi security forces are clearing the east side of Mosul building by building before handing control over to the hold force. This clearing process takes times but “Transitioning to that hold force is a high priority,” Martin said.