According to the UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon,military cooperation agreements on the Battle of Mosul,Iraq were finalised on 23 September 2016;encirclement operations will begin in the next few weeks;and Mosul,the largest ISIL bastion in Iraq,will be liberated from ISIL in the next few months.*
Special Operations Forces from undisclosed Operation Inherent Resolve coalition countries are already conducting covert operations behind enemy lines.*
Logistics hub for the massive campaign is Qayyarah Air Base about 40 miles/60 km of Mosul.It was recaptured from ISIL in July.It's been reconfigured to handle military transport planes,providing a direct supply line to the OIR coalition members in the Mosul area,instead of having to truck supplies 185 miles up from Baghdad.
The US and French Armies have emplaced artillery systems on the base.Their mobile howitzers can range out half the distance to Mosul;while their artillery rockets can strike the city itself from Qayyarah in less than 20 seconds with high accuracy.*
About 22,000 Iraqi Security Forces,including Army and Special Operations Forces and backed by thousands more Kurdish Peshmerga,paramilitary or tribal militias,are poised to execute the battle plan with coalition close air support against the approximately 3,000-4500 ISIL militants that remain within Mosul along with 500,000-700,000 civilians.They have fortified the city with untold miles of trenches,each three meters deep by 2 meters wide.Some of the trenches have been filled with oil.*
Qayarrah Air Base is closed to the media.As the battle progresses,a new air base will be established next to Mosul to support combat operations even more readily.