The Battle for Mosul: Sky News on the frontline


On the frontline

By Alex Crawford, Special Correspondent in Mosul

Sky News has witnessed house-to-house fighting in west Mosul as Iraqi forces try to push Islamic State out of their last stronghold in the country.

Iraqi forces

Video:Sky’s Alex Crawford with Iraqi forces in the Battle for Mosul

The US-led coalition is attempting to recapture the Old City from the extremists but the ancient quarters are densely populated and there have been concerns over civilian casualties.

The jihadists have been sheltering behind families, mounting attacks from their homes while terrorising them into remaining in a bid to stave off reprisals.

An Iraqi army sniper takes aim during the advance on Mosul's Old City
Image Caption:An Iraqi army sniper takes aim during the advance on Mosul’s Old City

British IS fighter

By Stuart Ramsay, Chief Correspondent in Mosul

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Video:The anonymous recruit tells Sky News he is prepared to go to jail if he can return home after fleeing the fighting in Mosul.

Islamic State in Mosul is made up of locals and backed by foreign fighters, including Britons. But not all are keen to fight.

Many were forced here and as the fighting intensifies they are trying to desert what is almost certainly the most dangerous battlefield in the world today.

For the first time, a self-confessed IS member on the run from Mosul and hiding in Syria has spoken.

Displaced Iraqis from Mosul walk towards refugee camps on March 24, 2017, after fleeing their city during the government forces ongoing offensive to retake the city from Islamic State
Image Caption:Iraqis displaced from Mosul walk towards refugee camps

Fleeing the fighting

By John Sparks, Correspondent in Mosul

For the past 14 years, Iraq has lurched from one multi-ethnic, multi-religious conflict to another.

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Video:Sky’s John Sparks with refugees fleeing from Mosul

Some 10,000 to 12,000 refugees are fleeing the western part of Mosul every day – a great exodus from a city that once numbered five million.

Residents have been driven out by heavy shelling and street-to-street combat between the Iraqi Army and Islamic State – but they are also exhausted and desperately hungry.

Children at a refugee camp in Mosul, visited by Sky News Presenter Anna Botting
Image Caption:Children at a refugee camp in Mosul, visited by Sky Presenter Anna Botting

Life as a refugee

By Anna Botting, Sky News Presenter in Mosul

In areas of Mosul cleared of Islamic State fighters life is returning to normal, but there are fears about the trauma suffered by children who have grown up under the militants.

Video:Anna Botting reports on the trauma of youngsters living under IS rule

In Chamakor camp, which was clean, spacious and carefully laid out, there are 11,800 refugees from west Mosul. Some 6,600 of them are children.

A camp official told me he saw some of them, aged six or seven, cutting the head off a mud figure.

An Iraqi SWAT team grabs a suspected IS militant in east Mosul
Image Caption:An Iraqi SWAT team grabs a suspected IS militant in east Mosul

Rough justice for IS

By Alex Rossi, Middle East Correspondent in Mosul

The anti-terror operation that Iraqi security forces are facing is huge. It will also be a massive test of their abilities.

Not only are they having to fight a war but they are also having to provide security and win “hearts and minds” in a city where the civilian population has been or still is under constant fire.

They are of course not a foreign army but when it comes to Mosul they might just as well be.

:: Watch a special programme, The Battle For Mosul, at 12pm and 7pm on Monday on Sky News.


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