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Liberation and Longing - Inside the Battle for Mosul

Gabriel Romero | Iraq

Destruction in the Al Thawra neighborhood of West Mosul. Mosul, Iraq. Apr. 19, 2017.

The Battle for Mosul began on October 16, 2016 with forces besieging Islamic State controlled areas in the Nineveh Governorate surrounding Mosul. The coalition forces fighting the Islamic State consist of elements of the Iraqi Army, Kurdish Peshmerga Forces, Shia Militias and US, French and British forces. Mosul fell to only 800 Islamic State fighters in June of 2014 due to the largely Sunni population's deep distrust of the primarily Shia Iraqi government. Since June of 2014 thousands of civilians have been killed and over 100,000 have been displaced. As forces secured East Mosul, it was West Mosul that has become the real challenge. With its narrow streets, especially in the old city of West Mosul, the battle has become a massive urban battlefield with close quarters fighting from house to house. 

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