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 Iraqi Peshmerga forces shoot at Islamic State targets during an operation to retake several villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul. August, 2016.

Iraqi Peshmerga forces shoot at Islamic State targets during an operation to retake several villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul. August, 2016.

 Dust kicked up from a discharged missile launcher clears around the Iraqi Peshmerga forces as they watch to see where the rocket landed during one of their offensives to retake territory from the Islamic State. The Iraqi Peshmerga have been one of the most successful fighting forces against the Islamic State in Iraq, holding a 700-mile frontline from the Syrian to Iranian border. Subsequently the force has also extended Kurdish controlled territory by 50% as they clear areas occupied by the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

Dust kicked up from a discharged missile launcher clears around the Iraqi Peshmerga forces as they watch to see where the rocket landed during one of their offensives to retake territory from the Islamic State. The Iraqi Peshmerga have been one of the most successful fighting forces against the Islamic State in Iraq, holding a 700-mile frontline from the Syrian to Iranian border. Subsequently the force has also extended Kurdish controlled territory by 50% as they clear areas occupied by the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

 A Peshmerga fighter reaches to reload new rounds of ammunition during a moment of heavy incoming fire from jihadists of the Islamic State.

A Peshmerga fighter reaches to reload new rounds of ammunition during a moment of heavy incoming fire from jihadists of the Islamic State.

 Sweat drips off an Iraqi Peshmerga fighter due to the sweltering heat inside an armored vehicle during a mid-summer battle in northern Iraq. The Peshmerga have been responsible for much of the ‘shaping operation’ that laid the ground work for the Iraqi Army offensive on Mosul from the east later in the year. In 2015, the Peshmerga took a sizable amount of territory back from the hardline Sunni militants.

Sweat drips off an Iraqi Peshmerga fighter due to the sweltering heat inside an armored vehicle during a mid-summer battle in northern Iraq. The Peshmerga have been responsible for much of the ‘shaping operation’ that laid the ground work for the Iraqi Army offensive on Mosul from the east later in the year. In 2015, the Peshmerga took a sizable amount of territory back from the hardline Sunni militants.

 A Peshmerga fighter looks out the window of an armored vehicle during an offensive to retake Islamic State held villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul.

A Peshmerga fighter looks out the window of an armored vehicle during an offensive to retake Islamic State held villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul.

 A commander in the Iraqi Peshmerga’s elite Black Tiger Unit steps out of his vehicle to direct tank drivers towards an Islamic State target.

A commander in the Iraqi Peshmerga’s elite Black Tiger Unit steps out of his vehicle to direct tank drivers towards an Islamic State target.

 Peshmerga forces during an operation to retake villages under the control of the Islamic State, southeast of Mosul, Iraq. August, 2016.

Peshmerga forces during an operation to retake villages under the control of the Islamic State, southeast of Mosul, Iraq. August, 2016.

 Peshmerga forces take refuge against a concrete wall of a house after the death of one of their colleagues during an operation to retake territory under the control of the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains, Iraq.

Peshmerga forces take refuge against a concrete wall of a house after the death of one of their colleagues during an operation to retake territory under the control of the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains, Iraq.

 Blood of an Islamic State fighter dries on the top of a Iraqi Peshmerga Humvee. The body of the killed ISIS fighter was displayed and paraded on top of the Humvee before being disregarded in the dry grassy field.

Blood of an Islamic State fighter dries on the top of a Iraqi Peshmerga Humvee. The body of the killed ISIS fighter was displayed and paraded on top of the Humvee before being disregarded in the dry grassy field.

 A Peshmerga fighter looks towards one of the buildings occupied by militants of the Islamic State during an operation to retake territory from the jihadists in the Nineveh plains. 

A Peshmerga fighter looks towards one of the buildings occupied by militants of the Islamic State during an operation to retake territory from the jihadists in the Nineveh plains. 

 The body of a decomposing Islamic State fighter is left out to rot in the middle of the dusty Nineveh plains with twisted electricity wires seen around the wrists of the fighter. July 5, 2016.

The body of a decomposing Islamic State fighter is left out to rot in the middle of the dusty Nineveh plains with twisted electricity wires seen around the wrists of the fighter. July 5, 2016.

 Two displaced Iraqis gather around a water tank at a Peshmerga checkpoint after fleeing ongoing fighting between the Iraqi Army and the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains. June 2016.

Two displaced Iraqis gather around a water tank at a Peshmerga checkpoint after fleeing ongoing fighting between the Iraqi Army and the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains. June 2016.

 Displaced woman and children get out of a Iraqi armored vehicle once they arrive at a Peshmerga screening checkpoint near Makhmour, Iraq. When possible, the Iraqi army transports families to the screening point where they then wait for Kurdish forces to approve their transportation to UN camps set up inside Kurdish-controlled territory.

Displaced woman and children get out of a Iraqi armored vehicle once they arrive at a Peshmerga screening checkpoint near Makhmour, Iraq. When possible, the Iraqi army transports families to the screening point where they then wait for Kurdish forces to approve their transportation to UN camps set up inside Kurdish-controlled territory.

 Smoke plumes into the air from torched oil wells in Qayyara, Iraq, as seen in Makhmour some 20 kilometers east. Anticipating their defeat, Islamic State fighters set alight the fire wells in an attempt to impede US-led collation air strikes. The massive fires burned for more than two months before Iraqi forces finally ejected the jihadists.

Smoke plumes into the air from torched oil wells in Qayyara, Iraq, as seen in Makhmour some 20 kilometers east. Anticipating their defeat, Islamic State fighters set alight the fire wells in an attempt to impede US-led collation air strikes. The massive fires burned for more than two months before Iraqi forces finally ejected the jihadists.

 Kids greet a Humvee of the Iraqi Army’s 15th Division after the village was retaken from the Islamic State, 60 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq.

Kids greet a Humvee of the Iraqi Army’s 15th Division after the village was retaken from the Islamic State, 60 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq.

 Iraqi soldiers drive through recently retaken territory in the Nineveh plain.

Iraqi soldiers drive through recently retaken territory in the Nineveh plain.

 Jubilation as an Iraqi army solider throws up peace signs for victory after the convoy successful made it through an ambush from Islamic State jihadist south of Qayyara, Iraq.

Jubilation as an Iraqi army solider throws up peace signs for victory after the convoy successful made it through an ambush from Islamic State jihadist south of Qayyara, Iraq.

 Villagers prepare a lunch for the soldiers of the Iraqi army after their town was liberated from the Islamic State, Nineveh province, south of Mosul. 

Villagers prepare a lunch for the soldiers of the Iraqi army after their town was liberated from the Islamic State, Nineveh province, south of Mosul. 

 A convoy of Iraqi 15th Division Humvees create their own path through the desert of Ninewa Plains on route to the newly retaken Qayyara military airbase, known to US forces as Q-West.

A convoy of Iraqi 15th Division Humvees create their own path through the desert of Ninewa Plains on route to the newly retaken Qayyara military airbase, known to US forces as Q-West.

 A family flees on foot from ongoing fighting between the Iraqi army and Islamic State militants south of Qayyara, June 2016.

A family flees on foot from ongoing fighting between the Iraqi army and Islamic State militants south of Qayyara, June 2016.

 A woman holding her child walks along the road away from the fighting in her village in the Nineveh plains.

A woman holding her child walks along the road away from the fighting in her village in the Nineveh plains.

 Fighters of the Hashd al-Wantani during a training exercise conducted by their Turkish trainers, north of Bashiqa in northern Iraq. The Arab Sunni militia was created by Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Ninevah province with close ties to Turkey. Turkey’s deployment of troops outside Bashiqa was seen as a serious breach of Iraqi sovereignty by the Iraqi government.

Fighters of the Hashd al-Wantani during a training exercise conducted by their Turkish trainers, north of Bashiqa in northern Iraq. The Arab Sunni militia was created by Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Ninevah province with close ties to Turkey. Turkey’s deployment of troops outside Bashiqa was seen as a serious breach of Iraqi sovereignty by the Iraqi government.

 A headless, handless body of an Islamic State fighter abandoned in the middle of the desert of the Nineveh plains.

A headless, handless body of an Islamic State fighter abandoned in the middle of the desert of the Nineveh plains.

 A Humvee covered in dust traveling between Iraqi army position south of Mosul.

A Humvee covered in dust traveling between Iraqi army position south of Mosul.

DiCenzo-RoadToMosul-OCT11-66.jpg
 A young girl screams in excitement to her photo being taken. After living under Islamic State occupation, her village was retaken by the Iraqi Army in the summer 2016.

A young girl screams in excitement to her photo being taken. After living under Islamic State occupation, her village was retaken by the Iraqi Army in the summer 2016.

Iraqi Peshmerga forces shoot at Islamic State targets during an operation to retake several villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul. August, 2016.

Dust kicked up from a discharged missile launcher clears around the Iraqi Peshmerga forces as they watch to see where the rocket landed during one of their offensives to retake territory from the Islamic State. The Iraqi Peshmerga have been one of the most successful fighting forces against the Islamic State in Iraq, holding a 700-mile frontline from the Syrian to Iranian border. Subsequently the force has also extended Kurdish controlled territory by 50% as they clear areas occupied by the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

A Peshmerga fighter reaches to reload new rounds of ammunition during a moment of heavy incoming fire from jihadists of the Islamic State.

Sweat drips off an Iraqi Peshmerga fighter due to the sweltering heat inside an armored vehicle during a mid-summer battle in northern Iraq. The Peshmerga have been responsible for much of the ‘shaping operation’ that laid the ground work for the Iraqi Army offensive on Mosul from the east later in the year. In 2015, the Peshmerga took a sizable amount of territory back from the hardline Sunni militants.

A Peshmerga fighter looks out the window of an armored vehicle during an offensive to retake Islamic State held villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul.

A commander in the Iraqi Peshmerga’s elite Black Tiger Unit steps out of his vehicle to direct tank drivers towards an Islamic State target.

Peshmerga forces during an operation to retake villages under the control of the Islamic State, southeast of Mosul, Iraq. August, 2016.

Peshmerga forces take refuge against a concrete wall of a house after the death of one of their colleagues during an operation to retake territory under the control of the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains, Iraq.

Blood of an Islamic State fighter dries on the top of a Iraqi Peshmerga Humvee. The body of the killed ISIS fighter was displayed and paraded on top of the Humvee before being disregarded in the dry grassy field.

A Peshmerga fighter looks towards one of the buildings occupied by militants of the Islamic State during an operation to retake territory from the jihadists in the Nineveh plains. 

The body of a decomposing Islamic State fighter is left out to rot in the middle of the dusty Nineveh plains with twisted electricity wires seen around the wrists of the fighter. July 5, 2016.

Two displaced Iraqis gather around a water tank at a Peshmerga checkpoint after fleeing ongoing fighting between the Iraqi Army and the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains. June 2016.

Displaced woman and children get out of a Iraqi armored vehicle once they arrive at a Peshmerga screening checkpoint near Makhmour, Iraq. When possible, the Iraqi army transports families to the screening point where they then wait for Kurdish forces to approve their transportation to UN camps set up inside Kurdish-controlled territory.

Smoke plumes into the air from torched oil wells in Qayyara, Iraq, as seen in Makhmour some 20 kilometers east. Anticipating their defeat, Islamic State fighters set alight the fire wells in an attempt to impede US-led collation air strikes. The massive fires burned for more than two months before Iraqi forces finally ejected the jihadists.

Kids greet a Humvee of the Iraqi Army’s 15th Division after the village was retaken from the Islamic State, 60 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq.

Iraqi soldiers drive through recently retaken territory in the Nineveh plain.

Jubilation as an Iraqi army solider throws up peace signs for victory after the convoy successful made it through an ambush from Islamic State jihadist south of Qayyara, Iraq.

Villagers prepare a lunch for the soldiers of the Iraqi army after their town was liberated from the Islamic State, Nineveh province, south of Mosul. 

A convoy of Iraqi 15th Division Humvees create their own path through the desert of Ninewa Plains on route to the newly retaken Qayyara military airbase, known to US forces as Q-West.

A family flees on foot from ongoing fighting between the Iraqi army and Islamic State militants south of Qayyara, June 2016.

A woman holding her child walks along the road away from the fighting in her village in the Nineveh plains.

Fighters of the Hashd al-Wantani during a training exercise conducted by their Turkish trainers, north of Bashiqa in northern Iraq. The Arab Sunni militia was created by Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Ninevah province with close ties to Turkey. Turkey’s deployment of troops outside Bashiqa was seen as a serious breach of Iraqi sovereignty by the Iraqi government.

A headless, handless body of an Islamic State fighter abandoned in the middle of the desert of the Nineveh plains.

A Humvee covered in dust traveling between Iraqi army position south of Mosul.

A young girl screams in excitement to her photo being taken. After living under Islamic State occupation, her village was retaken by the Iraqi Army in the summer 2016.

 Iraqi Peshmerga forces shoot at Islamic State targets during an operation to retake several villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul. August, 2016.
 Dust kicked up from a discharged missile launcher clears around the Iraqi Peshmerga forces as they watch to see where the rocket landed during one of their offensives to retake territory from the Islamic State. The Iraqi Peshmerga have been one of the most successful fighting forces against the Islamic State in Iraq, holding a 700-mile frontline from the Syrian to Iranian border. Subsequently the force has also extended Kurdish controlled territory by 50% as they clear areas occupied by the Islamic State in northern Iraq.
 A Peshmerga fighter reaches to reload new rounds of ammunition during a moment of heavy incoming fire from jihadists of the Islamic State.
 Sweat drips off an Iraqi Peshmerga fighter due to the sweltering heat inside an armored vehicle during a mid-summer battle in northern Iraq. The Peshmerga have been responsible for much of the ‘shaping operation’ that laid the ground work for the Iraqi Army offensive on Mosul from the east later in the year. In 2015, the Peshmerga took a sizable amount of territory back from the hardline Sunni militants.
 A Peshmerga fighter looks out the window of an armored vehicle during an offensive to retake Islamic State held villages in the Nineveh plains, southeast of Mosul.
 A commander in the Iraqi Peshmerga’s elite Black Tiger Unit steps out of his vehicle to direct tank drivers towards an Islamic State target.
 Peshmerga forces during an operation to retake villages under the control of the Islamic State, southeast of Mosul, Iraq. August, 2016.
 Peshmerga forces take refuge against a concrete wall of a house after the death of one of their colleagues during an operation to retake territory under the control of the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains, Iraq.
 Blood of an Islamic State fighter dries on the top of a Iraqi Peshmerga Humvee. The body of the killed ISIS fighter was displayed and paraded on top of the Humvee before being disregarded in the dry grassy field.
 A Peshmerga fighter looks towards one of the buildings occupied by militants of the Islamic State during an operation to retake territory from the jihadists in the Nineveh plains. 
 The body of a decomposing Islamic State fighter is left out to rot in the middle of the dusty Nineveh plains with twisted electricity wires seen around the wrists of the fighter. July 5, 2016.
 Two displaced Iraqis gather around a water tank at a Peshmerga checkpoint after fleeing ongoing fighting between the Iraqi Army and the Islamic State in the Nineveh plains. June 2016.
 Displaced woman and children get out of a Iraqi armored vehicle once they arrive at a Peshmerga screening checkpoint near Makhmour, Iraq. When possible, the Iraqi army transports families to the screening point where they then wait for Kurdish forces to approve their transportation to UN camps set up inside Kurdish-controlled territory.
 Smoke plumes into the air from torched oil wells in Qayyara, Iraq, as seen in Makhmour some 20 kilometers east. Anticipating their defeat, Islamic State fighters set alight the fire wells in an attempt to impede US-led collation air strikes. The massive fires burned for more than two months before Iraqi forces finally ejected the jihadists.
 Kids greet a Humvee of the Iraqi Army’s 15th Division after the village was retaken from the Islamic State, 60 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq.
 Iraqi soldiers drive through recently retaken territory in the Nineveh plain.
 Jubilation as an Iraqi army solider throws up peace signs for victory after the convoy successful made it through an ambush from Islamic State jihadist south of Qayyara, Iraq.
 Villagers prepare a lunch for the soldiers of the Iraqi army after their town was liberated from the Islamic State, Nineveh province, south of Mosul. 
 A convoy of Iraqi 15th Division Humvees create their own path through the desert of Ninewa Plains on route to the newly retaken Qayyara military airbase, known to US forces as Q-West.
 A family flees on foot from ongoing fighting between the Iraqi army and Islamic State militants south of Qayyara, June 2016.
 A woman holding her child walks along the road away from the fighting in her village in the Nineveh plains.
 Fighters of the Hashd al-Wantani during a training exercise conducted by their Turkish trainers, north of Bashiqa in northern Iraq. The Arab Sunni militia was created by Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Ninevah province with close ties to Turkey. Turkey’s deployment of troops outside Bashiqa was seen as a serious breach of Iraqi sovereignty by the Iraqi government.
 A headless, handless body of an Islamic State fighter abandoned in the middle of the desert of the Nineveh plains.
 A Humvee covered in dust traveling between Iraqi army position south of Mosul.
DiCenzo-RoadToMosul-OCT11-66.jpg
 A young girl screams in excitement to her photo being taken. After living under Islamic State occupation, her village was retaken by the Iraqi Army in the summer 2016.