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 Mosul’s ancient Old City neighborhood reduced to ruins after US-led coalition and Iraqi heavy airstrikes and high-range artillery pummeled the city for weeks at the end of Mosul offensive. July 14, 2017.

Mosul’s ancient Old City neighborhood reduced to ruins after US-led coalition and Iraqi heavy airstrikes and high-range artillery pummeled the city for weeks at the end of Mosul offensive. July 14, 2017.

 A soldier in the Iraqi army, seen through the shattered glass of a Humvee, walks along the frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul.

A soldier in the Iraqi army, seen through the shattered glass of a Humvee, walks along the frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul.

 Smoke plumes from an airstrike in al-Shifa neighborhood rise up behind members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division during a new northwestern push to rid the Islamic State from their last remaining strongholds in Mosul. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the old military campaign.

Smoke plumes from an airstrike in al-Shifa neighborhood rise up behind members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division during a new northwestern push to rid the Islamic State from their last remaining strongholds in Mosul. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the old military campaign.

 Members of the Iraqi army’s 16th division fortify a new position inside the remains of the Old Mosul Hotel in al-Shifa neighborhood during a newly launched assault to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State.

Members of the Iraqi army’s 16th division fortify a new position inside the remains of the Old Mosul Hotel in al-Shifa neighborhood during a newly launched assault to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State.

 With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees fahrenheit and limited water supply due to incoming fire, members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division bunker down inside the remains of a destroyed building in al-Shifa neighborhood.

With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees fahrenheit and limited water supply due to incoming fire, members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division bunker down inside the remains of a destroyed building in al-Shifa neighborhood.

 An Iraqi solider covers his month from smoke after Islamic State mortars set parts of the building on fire earlier in the day.

An Iraqi solider covers his month from smoke after Islamic State mortars set parts of the building on fire earlier in the day.

 Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control.

Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control.

 Members of the Iraqi army’s 9th division watch the movements of Islamic State militants through live drone footage along the northern frontline in western Mosul. More than two dozen militants can be seen walking the grounds of the last remaining medical complex under their control. Iraqi forces believe the medical complex is being used as a de-facto military headquarters for ISIS. They also have intelligence that civilians are inside, making the operation to take the complex more difficult for the advancing forces. It will take over a month for the forces to ultimately reclaim the hospital. Once they do, it is completely destroyed. 

Members of the Iraqi army’s 9th division watch the movements of Islamic State militants through live drone footage along the northern frontline in western Mosul. More than two dozen militants can be seen walking the grounds of the last remaining medical complex under their control. Iraqi forces believe the medical complex is being used as a de-facto military headquarters for ISIS. They also have intelligence that civilians are inside, making the operation to take the complex more difficult for the advancing forces. It will take over a month for the forces to ultimately reclaim the hospital. Once they do, it is completely destroyed. 

 An Iraqi soldier prepares his artillery at the beginning of the operation to retake the village of Shura, a key village on the way to Mosul, from the Islamic State. October 29, 2016.

An Iraqi soldier prepares his artillery at the beginning of the operation to retake the village of Shura, a key village on the way to Mosul, from the Islamic State. October 29, 2016.

 Two Iraqi soldiers string a sheet across a clearing to block the view of an ISIS sniper during an operation to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State. For two frustrating days, the Iraqi forces tried to push the frontline forward towards the last remaining medical complex under Islamic State control, only to be pinned down by sniper fire and forced to retreat. 

Two Iraqi soldiers string a sheet across a clearing to block the view of an ISIS sniper during an operation to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State. For two frustrating days, the Iraqi forces tried to push the frontline forward towards the last remaining medical complex under Islamic State control, only to be pinned down by sniper fire and forced to retreat. 

 An Iraqi solider receives medical treatment from foreign volunteer medics as forces try to advance the frontline further into ISIS-controlled territory. 

An Iraqi solider receives medical treatment from foreign volunteer medics as forces try to advance the frontline further into ISIS-controlled territory. 

 Members of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces taunt, mock, and rough up an accused Islamic State member after he was detained attempting to feel with civilians from Mosul’s Old City neighborhood.

Members of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces taunt, mock, and rough up an accused Islamic State member after he was detained attempting to feel with civilians from Mosul’s Old City neighborhood.

ISIS-worktop-1.jpg
 Flares illuminate Islamic State positions over the Old City neighborhood of Mosul as Iraqi forces prepare for another morning offensive. 

Flares illuminate Islamic State positions over the Old City neighborhood of Mosul as Iraqi forces prepare for another morning offensive. 

 Iraqi 16th division Humvees move through west Mosul as Iraqi forces battle to take the back the last remaining streets of al-Zinjili neighborhood from the Islamic State. Iraqi forces have accelerated their advance on the militants who have only a a few remaining districts under their control. June 4, 2017.

Iraqi 16th division Humvees move through west Mosul as Iraqi forces battle to take the back the last remaining streets of al-Zinjili neighborhood from the Islamic State. Iraqi forces have accelerated their advance on the militants who have only a a few remaining districts under their control. June 4, 2017.

 Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining strongholds in the city for the Islamic State. Civilians were besieged in the city for more than seven months with rapidly decreasing access to food resources. The extremists inside the city needed the civilian population to act as a deterrent to advancing Iraqi forces. They were forced to stay in their homes or corralled into homes of neighbors. One of these women, who I was able to speak to on the phone before she escaped Zinjili, claimed the Islamic State would take one of her children at night and bring him back in the morning to force the family to stay. To flee means crossing an active and brutal frontline, hoping your family makes it safely across before another mortar falls or an Islamic State snipper sees you.

Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining strongholds in the city for the Islamic State. Civilians were besieged in the city for more than seven months with rapidly decreasing access to food resources. The extremists inside the city needed the civilian population to act as a deterrent to advancing Iraqi forces. They were forced to stay in their homes or corralled into homes of neighbors. One of these women, who I was able to speak to on the phone before she escaped Zinjili, claimed the Islamic State would take one of her children at night and bring him back in the morning to force the family to stay. To flee means crossing an active and brutal frontline, hoping your family makes it safely across before another mortar falls or an Islamic State snipper sees you.

 Civilians flee al-Zinjili neighborhood in west Mosul, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control during the nine-month battle.

Civilians flee al-Zinjili neighborhood in west Mosul, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control during the nine-month battle.

 A husband holds the hand of his wife as they flee heavy fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood.

A husband holds the hand of his wife as they flee heavy fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood.

 After emerging through the Iraqi army frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, a civilian cries out for god. When intense fighting comes to a neighborhood, remaining civilians have to decide whether it is safer to stay in their homes, or chance the streets to pacified areas beyond the Iraqi forces frontline. Many civilians expect to find a hostile Iraqi army, as the Islamic State circulates the idea that they will be murdered by approaching forces, adding to the difficult calculation to whether a family stays or flees.       

After emerging through the Iraqi army frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, a civilian cries out for god. When intense fighting comes to a neighborhood, remaining civilians have to decide whether it is safer to stay in their homes, or chance the streets to pacified areas beyond the Iraqi forces frontline. Many civilians expect to find a hostile Iraqi army, as the Islamic State circulates the idea that they will be murdered by approaching forces, adding to the difficult calculation to whether a family stays or flees. 

 

 

 A young woman screams frantically after she crossed the Iraqi Army’s frontline to escape fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood. Soldiers tried to hold her hands down as she repeated slapped herself in the face. The woman survived a mortar round, sent off by the Islamic State, that struck the group of civilians she was attempting to flee with. Those who were dead, or badly wounded could not be reached beyond the Iraqi frontline.

A young woman screams frantically after she crossed the Iraqi Army’s frontline to escape fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood. Soldiers tried to hold her hands down as she repeated slapped herself in the face. The woman survived a mortar round, sent off by the Islamic State, that struck the group of civilians she was attempting to flee with. Those who were dead, or badly wounded could not be reached beyond the Iraqi frontline.

 Civilians who are not wounded in the process of fleeing then walk for hours until they arrive at civilian screening centers far out of the reach of mortars and fighting in the pacified areas of the city. 

Civilians who are not wounded in the process of fleeing then walk for hours until they arrive at civilian screening centers far out of the reach of mortars and fighting in the pacified areas of the city. 

DiCenzo-Medics-MosulIraq-5.jpg
 A member of the Iraqi army wears a patch from Emergency Rapid Defense (ERD), the Federal Police’s special forces unit. Out of the five major units participating in the Mosul offensive, four were present in al-Zinjili: ERD, Iraqi’s elite counterterrorism force (CTS), as well as the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th divisions.

A member of the Iraqi army wears a patch from Emergency Rapid Defense (ERD), the Federal Police’s special forces unit. Out of the five major units participating in the Mosul offensive, four were present in al-Zinjili: ERD, Iraqi’s elite counterterrorism force (CTS), as well as the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th divisions.

 Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood.

Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood.

 A woman cries about for God after fleeing intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State unharmed.

A woman cries about for God after fleeing intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State unharmed.

 A puppy scrambles to get back inside his home in Tel Kaif after Iraqi forces liberated the town from a defiant stand by Islamic State militants. 

A puppy scrambles to get back inside his home in Tel Kaif after Iraqi forces liberated the town from a defiant stand by Islamic State militants. 

 In the back of an ambulance, a father holds the body of his daughter who was killed as the family fled intense fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, northern Iraq. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the military campaign. June 3, 2017.

In the back of an ambulance, a father holds the body of his daughter who was killed as the family fled intense fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, northern Iraq. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the military campaign. June 3, 2017.

 An Iraqi army soldier picks up a wounded child after he emerged through the frontline in al-Zinjili.

An Iraqi army soldier picks up a wounded child after he emerged through the frontline in al-Zinjili.

 Civilians find some soft ground to be able to bury the body of one of their relatives who died trying to flee the fighting in 17 Tammuz neighborhood, western Mosul. 

Civilians find some soft ground to be able to bury the body of one of their relatives who died trying to flee the fighting in 17 Tammuz neighborhood, western Mosul. 

 Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga forces push through the Bashiqa frontline in an offensive to push the Islamic State out of villages near Mosul. October 20, 2016. “CREDIT: Andrea DiCenzo for The Wall Street Journal”

MOSUL

Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga forces push through the Bashiqa frontline in an offensive to push the Islamic State out of villages near Mosul. October 20, 2016. “CREDIT: Andrea DiCenzo for The Wall Street Journal” MOSUL

 Unable to sleep, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga warm themselves by a fire in Ashqaf village as they prepare for the beginning on the military campaign to retake Mosul from the Islamic State. The Peshmerga helmed the beginning of the offensive through depopulated Kurdish villages, paving the way for the Iraqi forces and artillery to push through. October 17, 2016. 

Unable to sleep, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga warm themselves by a fire in Ashqaf village as they prepare for the beginning on the military campaign to retake Mosul from the Islamic State. The Peshmerga helmed the beginning of the offensive through depopulated Kurdish villages, paving the way for the Iraqi forces and artillery to push through. October 17, 2016. 

14JUL2017-Mosul-Destroyed-DiCenzo-13.jpg
 Iraqi counter-terrorism forces enter Mosul University, Iraq’s second largest campus, January 14, 2017.

Iraqi counter-terrorism forces enter Mosul University, Iraq’s second largest campus, January 14, 2017.

 Iraqis flee from an Islamic State held village across the Tigris to an Iraqi army controlled village on the other side. The Iraqi army has made slow but sustained progress moving north through the Nineveh Plains to reach Mosul from the south as elite counter-terrorism forces push into the edges of Mosul from the east. October 29, 2016.

Iraqis flee from an Islamic State held village across the Tigris to an Iraqi army controlled village on the other side. The Iraqi army has made slow but sustained progress moving north through the Nineveh Plains to reach Mosul from the south as elite counter-terrorism forces push into the edges of Mosul from the east. October 29, 2016.

 A woman reaches out for help carrying her child up the rocky side of the river bank after she and other villagers fled Islamic State held territory. October 29, 2016.

A woman reaches out for help carrying her child up the rocky side of the river bank after she and other villagers fled Islamic State held territory. October 29, 2016.

 A young boy who lost his hand in Mosul waits with his family to be relocated to one of the displaced people’s camps south of Mosul. His mother says his hand was injured by a mortar falling in western Mosul and doctors provided by the Islamic State saved his life. 

A young boy who lost his hand in Mosul waits with his family to be relocated to one of the displaced people’s camps south of Mosul. His mother says his hand was injured by a mortar falling in western Mosul and doctors provided by the Islamic State saved his life. 

 Over 90 accused Islamic State militants are packed into a makeshift cell close to Mosul, Iraq. Each had a plastic bag hung above them, containing their meagre possessions.  The air stank of bile, urine and cleaning chemicals. Off camera, others lay in a fetid corridor, pale and weak from what they said was tainted prison food. Some had been kept there for weeks, sleeping and eating together. It was one of two cells in which suspects were corralled as they awaited interrogation by Iraqi intelligence officers before trial. Convictions lie almost entirely on confessions extracted in places like this.  Reporting restrictions set down by Iraqi intelligence meant I couldn’t show individual faces, give names, or identify the location of the desolate home that had been converted into a makeshift prison.

Over 90 accused Islamic State militants are packed into a makeshift cell close to Mosul, Iraq. Each had a plastic bag hung above them, containing their meagre possessions.

The air stank of bile, urine and cleaning chemicals. Off camera, others lay in a fetid corridor, pale and weak from what they said was tainted prison food. Some had been kept there for weeks, sleeping and eating together. It was one of two cells in which suspects were corralled as they awaited interrogation by Iraqi intelligence officers before trial. Convictions lie almost entirely on confessions extracted in places like this.

Reporting restrictions set down by Iraqi intelligence meant I couldn’t show individual faces, give names, or identify the location of the desolate home that had been converted into a makeshift prison.

 After arriving at a medical clinic and receiving treatment, a single male (pictured) is dragged away by armed Iraqi Army members accusing the man of being an Islamic State member. They loaded the man into an ambulance and drove him back towards the frontline.

After arriving at a medical clinic and receiving treatment, a single male (pictured) is dragged away by armed Iraqi Army members accusing the man of being an Islamic State member. They loaded the man into an ambulance and drove him back towards the frontline.

 An Iraqi man relaxes in the baths of Hammam al-Alil. Since the baths reopened in November, it’s been used by townspeople as well as members of the Iraqi army and civilians displaced by fighting. The town gets its name from natural sulphur springs that are used in the baths.

An Iraqi man relaxes in the baths of Hammam al-Alil. Since the baths reopened in November, it’s been used by townspeople as well as members of the Iraqi army and civilians displaced by fighting. The town gets its name from natural sulphur springs that are used in the baths.

 Members of the Iraqi army's 9th and 16th division take cover behind the Old Mosul Hotel as they push forward in al-Shifa neighborhood to retake a large medical complex controlled by the Islamic State in a new northwestern push to rid the militants from the remaining territory of Mosul.

Members of the Iraqi army's 9th and 16th division take cover behind the Old Mosul Hotel as they push forward in al-Shifa neighborhood to retake a large medical complex controlled by the Islamic State in a new northwestern push to rid the militants from the remaining territory of Mosul.

 At a mosque-turned-field clinic in Al-Rabi'ah nieghborhood, west Mosul, a medic from the Iraqi army 9th division looks around at the influx of injured civilians his clinic received after a mortar hit a group of civilians that were attempting to flee fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State militants. As the end of the nine-month battle drew closer, civilians were targeted with much greater frequency by the extremists. 

At a mosque-turned-field clinic in Al-Rabi'ah nieghborhood, west Mosul, a medic from the Iraqi army 9th division looks around at the influx of injured civilians his clinic received after a mortar hit a group of civilians that were attempting to flee fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State militants. As the end of the nine-month battle drew closer, civilians were targeted with much greater frequency by the extremists. 

 Two brothers injured by shrapnel when fleeing al-Zinjili neighborhood, arrive for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul.

Two brothers injured by shrapnel when fleeing al-Zinjili neighborhood, arrive for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul.

 An injured child waits for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul. Thousands of civilians fled the ongoing fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State as the Iraqi forces push to remove the militants from their last remaining districts in western Mosul.

An injured child waits for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul. Thousands of civilians fled the ongoing fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State as the Iraqi forces push to remove the militants from their last remaining districts in western Mosul.

DiCenzo-Mosul-IraqiArmyAdvance-08JUNE2017-6-sm.jpg
 New arrivals from Shriqat village wait for processing as they are forced into detainment at Shanhama I Camp, near Tikrit. Iraqi forces have routinely rounded up the families of suspected Islamic State fighters in liberated territory, detaining them for an unspecified amount of time. Shahama I Camp is the only camp in Iraq that specifically only detains relatives of suspected Islamic State members. They are not allowed to leave the walled premise.

New arrivals from Shriqat village wait for processing as they are forced into detainment at Shanhama I Camp, near Tikrit. Iraqi forces have routinely rounded up the families of suspected Islamic State fighters in liberated territory, detaining them for an unspecified amount of time. Shahama I Camp is the only camp in Iraq that specifically only detains relatives of suspected Islamic State members. They are not allowed to leave the walled premise.

 Sun sets in eastern Mosul after Iraqi forces declared victory in recapturing the eastern half of the embattled city.

Sun sets in eastern Mosul after Iraqi forces declared victory in recapturing the eastern half of the embattled city.

Mosul’s ancient Old City neighborhood reduced to ruins after US-led coalition and Iraqi heavy airstrikes and high-range artillery pummeled the city for weeks at the end of Mosul offensive. July 14, 2017.

A soldier in the Iraqi army, seen through the shattered glass of a Humvee, walks along the frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul.

Smoke plumes from an airstrike in al-Shifa neighborhood rise up behind members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division during a new northwestern push to rid the Islamic State from their last remaining strongholds in Mosul. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the old military campaign.

Members of the Iraqi army’s 16th division fortify a new position inside the remains of the Old Mosul Hotel in al-Shifa neighborhood during a newly launched assault to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State.

With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees fahrenheit and limited water supply due to incoming fire, members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division bunker down inside the remains of a destroyed building in al-Shifa neighborhood.

An Iraqi solider covers his month from smoke after Islamic State mortars set parts of the building on fire earlier in the day.

Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control.

Members of the Iraqi army’s 9th division watch the movements of Islamic State militants through live drone footage along the northern frontline in western Mosul. More than two dozen militants can be seen walking the grounds of the last remaining medical complex under their control. Iraqi forces believe the medical complex is being used as a de-facto military headquarters for ISIS. They also have intelligence that civilians are inside, making the operation to take the complex more difficult for the advancing forces. It will take over a month for the forces to ultimately reclaim the hospital. Once they do, it is completely destroyed. 

An Iraqi soldier prepares his artillery at the beginning of the operation to retake the village of Shura, a key village on the way to Mosul, from the Islamic State. October 29, 2016.

Two Iraqi soldiers string a sheet across a clearing to block the view of an ISIS sniper during an operation to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State. For two frustrating days, the Iraqi forces tried to push the frontline forward towards the last remaining medical complex under Islamic State control, only to be pinned down by sniper fire and forced to retreat. 

An Iraqi solider receives medical treatment from foreign volunteer medics as forces try to advance the frontline further into ISIS-controlled territory. 

Members of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces taunt, mock, and rough up an accused Islamic State member after he was detained attempting to feel with civilians from Mosul’s Old City neighborhood.

Flares illuminate Islamic State positions over the Old City neighborhood of Mosul as Iraqi forces prepare for another morning offensive. 

Iraqi 16th division Humvees move through west Mosul as Iraqi forces battle to take the back the last remaining streets of al-Zinjili neighborhood from the Islamic State. Iraqi forces have accelerated their advance on the militants who have only a a few remaining districts under their control. June 4, 2017.

Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining strongholds in the city for the Islamic State. Civilians were besieged in the city for more than seven months with rapidly decreasing access to food resources. The extremists inside the city needed the civilian population to act as a deterrent to advancing Iraqi forces. They were forced to stay in their homes or corralled into homes of neighbors. One of these women, who I was able to speak to on the phone before she escaped Zinjili, claimed the Islamic State would take one of her children at night and bring him back in the morning to force the family to stay. To flee means crossing an active and brutal frontline, hoping your family makes it safely across before another mortar falls or an Islamic State snipper sees you.

Civilians flee al-Zinjili neighborhood in west Mosul, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control during the nine-month battle.

A husband holds the hand of his wife as they flee heavy fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood.

After emerging through the Iraqi army frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, a civilian cries out for god. When intense fighting comes to a neighborhood, remaining civilians have to decide whether it is safer to stay in their homes, or chance the streets to pacified areas beyond the Iraqi forces frontline. Many civilians expect to find a hostile Iraqi army, as the Islamic State circulates the idea that they will be murdered by approaching forces, adding to the difficult calculation to whether a family stays or flees. 

 

 

A young woman screams frantically after she crossed the Iraqi Army’s frontline to escape fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood. Soldiers tried to hold her hands down as she repeated slapped herself in the face. The woman survived a mortar round, sent off by the Islamic State, that struck the group of civilians she was attempting to flee with. Those who were dead, or badly wounded could not be reached beyond the Iraqi frontline.

Civilians who are not wounded in the process of fleeing then walk for hours until they arrive at civilian screening centers far out of the reach of mortars and fighting in the pacified areas of the city. 

A member of the Iraqi army wears a patch from Emergency Rapid Defense (ERD), the Federal Police’s special forces unit. Out of the five major units participating in the Mosul offensive, four were present in al-Zinjili: ERD, Iraqi’s elite counterterrorism force (CTS), as well as the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th divisions.

Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood.

A woman cries about for God after fleeing intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State unharmed.

A puppy scrambles to get back inside his home in Tel Kaif after Iraqi forces liberated the town from a defiant stand by Islamic State militants. 

In the back of an ambulance, a father holds the body of his daughter who was killed as the family fled intense fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, northern Iraq. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the military campaign. June 3, 2017.

An Iraqi army soldier picks up a wounded child after he emerged through the frontline in al-Zinjili.

Civilians find some soft ground to be able to bury the body of one of their relatives who died trying to flee the fighting in 17 Tammuz neighborhood, western Mosul. 

Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga forces push through the Bashiqa frontline in an offensive to push the Islamic State out of villages near Mosul. October 20, 2016. “CREDIT: Andrea DiCenzo for The Wall Street Journal” MOSUL

Unable to sleep, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga warm themselves by a fire in Ashqaf village as they prepare for the beginning on the military campaign to retake Mosul from the Islamic State. The Peshmerga helmed the beginning of the offensive through depopulated Kurdish villages, paving the way for the Iraqi forces and artillery to push through. October 17, 2016. 

Iraqi counter-terrorism forces enter Mosul University, Iraq’s second largest campus, January 14, 2017.

Iraqis flee from an Islamic State held village across the Tigris to an Iraqi army controlled village on the other side. The Iraqi army has made slow but sustained progress moving north through the Nineveh Plains to reach Mosul from the south as elite counter-terrorism forces push into the edges of Mosul from the east. October 29, 2016.

A woman reaches out for help carrying her child up the rocky side of the river bank after she and other villagers fled Islamic State held territory. October 29, 2016.

A young boy who lost his hand in Mosul waits with his family to be relocated to one of the displaced people’s camps south of Mosul. His mother says his hand was injured by a mortar falling in western Mosul and doctors provided by the Islamic State saved his life. 

Over 90 accused Islamic State militants are packed into a makeshift cell close to Mosul, Iraq. Each had a plastic bag hung above them, containing their meagre possessions.

The air stank of bile, urine and cleaning chemicals. Off camera, others lay in a fetid corridor, pale and weak from what they said was tainted prison food. Some had been kept there for weeks, sleeping and eating together. It was one of two cells in which suspects were corralled as they awaited interrogation by Iraqi intelligence officers before trial. Convictions lie almost entirely on confessions extracted in places like this.

Reporting restrictions set down by Iraqi intelligence meant I couldn’t show individual faces, give names, or identify the location of the desolate home that had been converted into a makeshift prison.

After arriving at a medical clinic and receiving treatment, a single male (pictured) is dragged away by armed Iraqi Army members accusing the man of being an Islamic State member. They loaded the man into an ambulance and drove him back towards the frontline.

An Iraqi man relaxes in the baths of Hammam al-Alil. Since the baths reopened in November, it’s been used by townspeople as well as members of the Iraqi army and civilians displaced by fighting. The town gets its name from natural sulphur springs that are used in the baths.

Members of the Iraqi army's 9th and 16th division take cover behind the Old Mosul Hotel as they push forward in al-Shifa neighborhood to retake a large medical complex controlled by the Islamic State in a new northwestern push to rid the militants from the remaining territory of Mosul.

At a mosque-turned-field clinic in Al-Rabi'ah nieghborhood, west Mosul, a medic from the Iraqi army 9th division looks around at the influx of injured civilians his clinic received after a mortar hit a group of civilians that were attempting to flee fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State militants. As the end of the nine-month battle drew closer, civilians were targeted with much greater frequency by the extremists. 

Two brothers injured by shrapnel when fleeing al-Zinjili neighborhood, arrive for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul.

An injured child waits for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul. Thousands of civilians fled the ongoing fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State as the Iraqi forces push to remove the militants from their last remaining districts in western Mosul.

New arrivals from Shriqat village wait for processing as they are forced into detainment at Shanhama I Camp, near Tikrit. Iraqi forces have routinely rounded up the families of suspected Islamic State fighters in liberated territory, detaining them for an unspecified amount of time. Shahama I Camp is the only camp in Iraq that specifically only detains relatives of suspected Islamic State members. They are not allowed to leave the walled premise.

Sun sets in eastern Mosul after Iraqi forces declared victory in recapturing the eastern half of the embattled city.

 Mosul’s ancient Old City neighborhood reduced to ruins after US-led coalition and Iraqi heavy airstrikes and high-range artillery pummeled the city for weeks at the end of Mosul offensive. July 14, 2017.
 A soldier in the Iraqi army, seen through the shattered glass of a Humvee, walks along the frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul.
 Smoke plumes from an airstrike in al-Shifa neighborhood rise up behind members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division during a new northwestern push to rid the Islamic State from their last remaining strongholds in Mosul. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the old military campaign.
 Members of the Iraqi army’s 16th division fortify a new position inside the remains of the Old Mosul Hotel in al-Shifa neighborhood during a newly launched assault to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State.
 With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees fahrenheit and limited water supply due to incoming fire, members of the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th division bunker down inside the remains of a destroyed building in al-Shifa neighborhood.
 An Iraqi solider covers his month from smoke after Islamic State mortars set parts of the building on fire earlier in the day.
 Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control.
 Members of the Iraqi army’s 9th division watch the movements of Islamic State militants through live drone footage along the northern frontline in western Mosul. More than two dozen militants can be seen walking the grounds of the last remaining medical complex under their control. Iraqi forces believe the medical complex is being used as a de-facto military headquarters for ISIS. They also have intelligence that civilians are inside, making the operation to take the complex more difficult for the advancing forces. It will take over a month for the forces to ultimately reclaim the hospital. Once they do, it is completely destroyed. 
 An Iraqi soldier prepares his artillery at the beginning of the operation to retake the village of Shura, a key village on the way to Mosul, from the Islamic State. October 29, 2016.
 Two Iraqi soldiers string a sheet across a clearing to block the view of an ISIS sniper during an operation to reclaim the last remaining districts of western Mosul from the Islamic State. For two frustrating days, the Iraqi forces tried to push the frontline forward towards the last remaining medical complex under Islamic State control, only to be pinned down by sniper fire and forced to retreat. 
 An Iraqi solider receives medical treatment from foreign volunteer medics as forces try to advance the frontline further into ISIS-controlled territory. 
 Members of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces taunt, mock, and rough up an accused Islamic State member after he was detained attempting to feel with civilians from Mosul’s Old City neighborhood.
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 Flares illuminate Islamic State positions over the Old City neighborhood of Mosul as Iraqi forces prepare for another morning offensive. 
 Iraqi 16th division Humvees move through west Mosul as Iraqi forces battle to take the back the last remaining streets of al-Zinjili neighborhood from the Islamic State. Iraqi forces have accelerated their advance on the militants who have only a a few remaining districts under their control. June 4, 2017.
 Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood, one of the last remaining strongholds in the city for the Islamic State. Civilians were besieged in the city for more than seven months with rapidly decreasing access to food resources. The extremists inside the city needed the civilian population to act as a deterrent to advancing Iraqi forces. They were forced to stay in their homes or corralled into homes of neighbors. One of these women, who I was able to speak to on the phone before she escaped Zinjili, claimed the Islamic State would take one of her children at night and bring him back in the morning to force the family to stay. To flee means crossing an active and brutal frontline, hoping your family makes it safely across before another mortar falls or an Islamic State snipper sees you.
 Civilians flee al-Zinjili neighborhood in west Mosul, one of the last remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control during the nine-month battle.
 A husband holds the hand of his wife as they flee heavy fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood.
 After emerging through the Iraqi army frontline in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, a civilian cries out for god. When intense fighting comes to a neighborhood, remaining civilians have to decide whether it is safer to stay in their homes, or chance the streets to pacified areas beyond the Iraqi forces frontline. Many civilians expect to find a hostile Iraqi army, as the Islamic State circulates the idea that they will be murdered by approaching forces, adding to the difficult calculation to whether a family stays or flees.       
 A young woman screams frantically after she crossed the Iraqi Army’s frontline to escape fighting in al-Zinjili neighborhood. Soldiers tried to hold her hands down as she repeated slapped herself in the face. The woman survived a mortar round, sent off by the Islamic State, that struck the group of civilians she was attempting to flee with. Those who were dead, or badly wounded could not be reached beyond the Iraqi frontline.
 Civilians who are not wounded in the process of fleeing then walk for hours until they arrive at civilian screening centers far out of the reach of mortars and fighting in the pacified areas of the city. 
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 A member of the Iraqi army wears a patch from Emergency Rapid Defense (ERD), the Federal Police’s special forces unit. Out of the five major units participating in the Mosul offensive, four were present in al-Zinjili: ERD, Iraqi’s elite counterterrorism force (CTS), as well as the Iraqi army’s 9th and 16th divisions.
 Civilians flee intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood.
 A woman cries about for God after fleeing intense fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State unharmed.
 A puppy scrambles to get back inside his home in Tel Kaif after Iraqi forces liberated the town from a defiant stand by Islamic State militants. 
 In the back of an ambulance, a father holds the body of his daughter who was killed as the family fled intense fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State in al-Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul, northern Iraq. Only five districts in western Mosul are under Islamic State control, but the forces believe the final districts will be the hardest and most violent fighting in the military campaign. June 3, 2017.
 An Iraqi army soldier picks up a wounded child after he emerged through the frontline in al-Zinjili.
 Civilians find some soft ground to be able to bury the body of one of their relatives who died trying to flee the fighting in 17 Tammuz neighborhood, western Mosul. 
 Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga forces push through the Bashiqa frontline in an offensive to push the Islamic State out of villages near Mosul. October 20, 2016. “CREDIT: Andrea DiCenzo for The Wall Street Journal”

MOSUL
 Unable to sleep, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga warm themselves by a fire in Ashqaf village as they prepare for the beginning on the military campaign to retake Mosul from the Islamic State. The Peshmerga helmed the beginning of the offensive through depopulated Kurdish villages, paving the way for the Iraqi forces and artillery to push through. October 17, 2016. 
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 Iraqi counter-terrorism forces enter Mosul University, Iraq’s second largest campus, January 14, 2017.
 Iraqis flee from an Islamic State held village across the Tigris to an Iraqi army controlled village on the other side. The Iraqi army has made slow but sustained progress moving north through the Nineveh Plains to reach Mosul from the south as elite counter-terrorism forces push into the edges of Mosul from the east. October 29, 2016.
 A woman reaches out for help carrying her child up the rocky side of the river bank after she and other villagers fled Islamic State held territory. October 29, 2016.
 A young boy who lost his hand in Mosul waits with his family to be relocated to one of the displaced people’s camps south of Mosul. His mother says his hand was injured by a mortar falling in western Mosul and doctors provided by the Islamic State saved his life. 
 Over 90 accused Islamic State militants are packed into a makeshift cell close to Mosul, Iraq. Each had a plastic bag hung above them, containing their meagre possessions.  The air stank of bile, urine and cleaning chemicals. Off camera, others lay in a fetid corridor, pale and weak from what they said was tainted prison food. Some had been kept there for weeks, sleeping and eating together. It was one of two cells in which suspects were corralled as they awaited interrogation by Iraqi intelligence officers before trial. Convictions lie almost entirely on confessions extracted in places like this.  Reporting restrictions set down by Iraqi intelligence meant I couldn’t show individual faces, give names, or identify the location of the desolate home that had been converted into a makeshift prison.
 After arriving at a medical clinic and receiving treatment, a single male (pictured) is dragged away by armed Iraqi Army members accusing the man of being an Islamic State member. They loaded the man into an ambulance and drove him back towards the frontline.
 An Iraqi man relaxes in the baths of Hammam al-Alil. Since the baths reopened in November, it’s been used by townspeople as well as members of the Iraqi army and civilians displaced by fighting. The town gets its name from natural sulphur springs that are used in the baths.
 Members of the Iraqi army's 9th and 16th division take cover behind the Old Mosul Hotel as they push forward in al-Shifa neighborhood to retake a large medical complex controlled by the Islamic State in a new northwestern push to rid the militants from the remaining territory of Mosul.
 At a mosque-turned-field clinic in Al-Rabi'ah nieghborhood, west Mosul, a medic from the Iraqi army 9th division looks around at the influx of injured civilians his clinic received after a mortar hit a group of civilians that were attempting to flee fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State militants. As the end of the nine-month battle drew closer, civilians were targeted with much greater frequency by the extremists. 
 Two brothers injured by shrapnel when fleeing al-Zinjili neighborhood, arrive for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul.
 An injured child waits for treatment at an Iraqi army Causality Collection Point (CCP) along the frontline in western Mosul. Thousands of civilians fled the ongoing fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State as the Iraqi forces push to remove the militants from their last remaining districts in western Mosul.
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 New arrivals from Shriqat village wait for processing as they are forced into detainment at Shanhama I Camp, near Tikrit. Iraqi forces have routinely rounded up the families of suspected Islamic State fighters in liberated territory, detaining them for an unspecified amount of time. Shahama I Camp is the only camp in Iraq that specifically only detains relatives of suspected Islamic State members. They are not allowed to leave the walled premise.
 Sun sets in eastern Mosul after Iraqi forces declared victory in recapturing the eastern half of the embattled city.