On January 30, according to USA Today, was destroyed 150 boats, with which the militants tried to cross the Tigris river, mainly from the Eastern part of Mosul to the West. The flight of the Islamists and the transfer of weapons across the river was growing as you move the government forces of Iraq into the city. After all the bridges over the Tigris have become unfit for the movement of militants, the journey on the water was the only to salvation. Of course, one way or another raises the question of who exactly was in the destroyed boats — fighters or running from the city civilians.
A week before that total number of sunken boats in Mosul amounted to 112 units, including three barges. 90 boats Islamists were destroyed within just three days. Over the last weekend in February, the air was destroyed six boats of the Islamists.
While it is not always only about leaving the Eastern part of the city the insurgents. According to the Iraqi Colonel Tahir Nazaire from 75 brigade, fighters every night trying to cross the river in boats in suicide attacks. For the week around 40 boats of Islamists tried to break through to the East coast. Sometimes each boat is up to a dozen militants.
According to another Iraqi officer, in boats of gunmen with belts of shahids are under the influence of drugs, as none of them in their right mind would go on it, when every night their eyes previous bombers destroy batches. Some still manage to disembark under the cover of night and sniper fire from ISIS, but the Iraqi army no one gets. The gunners mow them on the outskirts.
There are other stories, when civilians from the Western Mosul on boats trying to cross the Tigris river and going to Eastern territories controlled by government forces. How many of them were taken for militants and destroyed by the Iraqi army or Coalition aircraft, will forever remain a mystery.
Operations on the Tigris river or the Euphrates are not something new. It’s clear that dozens of sunken boats in a day recently talking about the critical situation and the loss of the Eastern part of Mosul by militants, but war on water is not stopped from start of preparation to storm the city.
Last autumn only in September by the Coalition from the air was destroyed 65 of the boats of ISIS, but that does not affect the activity on the river ISIS, as the militants could easily replenish their fleet, confiscating boats from the local population. In the summer of 2016 ISIS also tried to blow up pontoon bridges advancing on Mosul from the Iraqi army over the Tigris river with bombs barges.
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31 July 2014, ISIS during the assault on the village Duluiya 80 km North of Baghdad, used boats, equipped with machine guns. 6 Sep there, on the pontoon bridge were sent loaded with explosives, the boat of ISIS, which managed to destroy Iraqi forces.
In September 2014, the Iraqi special units seized the boats with the militants on the Euphrates river.
In November 2014 captured from government forces, a military boat IG arrange the transportation of explosives through the Euphrates, Ramadi.
In January 2015, ISIS successfully attacked the Kurdish town of Gwer, crossed by boat across the river Zab and killing 30 Kurds. In June 2014 there was a similar attack scenario, Zab.
11 Jan 2015 the Islamists almost blew up the Samarra dam under using explosives stuffed with the boat.
25 Jan 2015 the Coalition destroyed air fleet of 25 boats of ISIS South of Ramadi.
In April 2015, ISIS released a propaganda video, which was shown to ostentatious teachings of their own units “Navy seals-jihadists” who could conduct attacks with water. The video caused laughter from the US Marines.
In may 2015, the Iraqi forces destroyed the boats of the IG who sought to break into Tikrit. In April, the boats of ISIS destroyed in Anbar province. In February 2015, the IG conducts exploration at the river under Falluja.
War on the rivers in Iraq was fought a hundred years ago. Steamboats on the Tigris river was used by the British in the years 1914-1917, and even participated in the capture of Baghdad in 1917-m to year. English gunboats were supported by artillery fire shore operations on the Euphrates.
In 2003, the patrol boats of the Americans worked in the Delta of the Tiger in the invasion of Iraq. The US deployed special river patrol unit in Iraq in 2007, bearing in mind the use of their boats still in Vietnam. Until 2007, operations on the rivers in Iraq were conducted by the marine corps and Navy. From 2007 to 2011 river in the U.S. spent more than six thousand missions on the rivers of Iraq by the end of 2010 trained and equipped Iraqi colleagues. After the departure of the Americans from the country and until recently, the river operations of the IG opposed the River police of Iraq.
Today, when major events unfold in Mosul, the Islamists boats again hard at work Coalition aircraft. And, most likely, “river fleets of ISIS” in Iraq will never hear.