Islamic State claims British jihadi carried out Mosul suicide attack

A British suicide bomber has blown up a vehicle full of explosives near the Iraqi city of Mosul, IS said in a statement reported by the SITE Intelligence Group. The Islamist group - which is battling an Iraqi military offensive aimed at seizing the city - named the bomber as Abu Zakariya al-Britani. In a statement, the group said he detonated an explosives-filled vehicle in Tal Kisum village, south of Mosul and that there were many casualties, but this has not been confirmed. Forces from the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation), a paramilitary umbrella dominated by Shiite militias backed by Tehran, are active in the area mentioned in the statement.

The martyrdom-seeking brother Abu Zakariya al-Britani – may Allah accept him – detonated his explosives-laden vehicle on a headquarters of the Rafidhi army and its militias in Tal Kisum village, southwest of Mosul

ISIS statement

Even Iraq’s special forces — some of the most competent fighters in the military — have so far largely fought the Mosul battle from inside their vehicles, rather than moving house-to-house on foot, in an effort to limit military casualties. Iraqi forces are expected to push into western Mosul from the south near the city’s international airport. Iraqi forces had initially planned to advance on the city from the east and south simultaneously, but as they became bogged down in eastern Mosul, the southern front was put on hold. Iraq’s militarized Federal Police retook the village of Hamam al-Alil in November and since then the front has barely moved as some units were dispatched to eastern Mosul.