Photoblog: A first glimpse inside Mosul

Photoblog: A first glimpse inside Mosul
2 min read
12 Nov, 2016
Exclusive pictures from inside the last bastion of the Islamic State group in Iraq, as troops press forwards to 'liberate' the country's second city.
The initial phase of the Mosul operation saw Iraqi and Peshmerga forces capture multiple towns and villages outside the city, but initial incursions into urban areas presented a fresh challenge for Iraqi troops.
With the Iraqi federal police acting as an auxiliary force, troops on this front have succeeded in pushing into several of the city's south-eastern suburbs.

But the urban warfare is fraught with risk, and Islamic State group fighters often use a network of tunnels and hide among the local population - many of whom have stayed, either by choice or by force, throughout the fighting - in order to launch attacks behind enemy lines.

Gareth Browne joined Iraq's 9th division as it pushed into Intisar, the first of Mosul's suburbs to be recaptured from the Islamic State group.

The streets of Intisar, a suburb of Mosul, at first appear abandoned [Gareth Browne]
Children are always the first to rush to the streets to greet newcomers [Gareth Browne]
Like politicians drawn to kissing babies, local parents want to show their infants to the troops fighting the Islamic State group [Gareth Browne] 
_
The corpses of Islamic State group fighters litter the streets of this suburb, which was occupied by the militants for more than two years [Gareth Browne]
Several of the bodies of the fighters have been dismembered by explosions, and limbs have been scattered [Gareth Browne]
Despite the horrors witnessed in the past two years, neighbourhood children continue to welcome advancing Iraqi troops [Gareth Browne]

For more on this story, read Gareth Browne's exclusive report: Entering Mosul with Iraq's 9th Division

Follow Gareth on Twitter as he reports from the front lines of the battle for Mosul: @BrowneGareth