In 2007, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was steadily pushed into northern Iraq. By the spring of 2008, the network attempted to regroup in certain areas, particularly around the city of Mosul. Mosul has long been an important hub for the Sunni insurgency and Coalition commanders have identifi ed it as a strategic center of gravity for AQI. Though AQI cells remain in central Iraq, the principal fi ght against the network is now taking place in Mosul, western Ninawa province, and further south in the Za'ab triangle. As the fi ght against AQI proceeds and the Government of Iraq attempts to establish security and governance in northern Iraq, it is important to understand the context in which this struggle will take place. Iraq Report #8 focuses on the fight for Mosul beginning with the context and history of the city and then detailing efforts to establish security in Mosul and Ninawa from the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003 through the shaping operations that preceded Operations' Lions' Roar and Mother of Two Springs in May 2008.

Editor's note: The Iraq Report is a regular feature at and offers detailed reporting and analysis of ongoing Coalition military operations both in Baghdad and throughout Iraq. To read the full report in pdf click here or on the image below.

Previous Iraq Reports:

Iraq Report I: From "New Way Forward" to New Commander, March 1, 2007

Iraq Report II: The Baghdad Security Plan begins., March 15, 2007

Iraq Report III: The Anbar Awakening., April 5, 2007

Iraq Report IV: The Battle for Diyala, May 7,2007

Iraq Report V: The Real Surge, July 6, 2007

Iraq Report VI: The Iran Dossier, August 29, 2007

Iraq Report VII: Securing Diyala, December 6, 2007

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