Iraqi army prepares to retake Mosul from ISIL

CCTV News

Military movement in Mosul - Iraqi forces are poised to enter the ISIL-held city. The battle is expected to go from street to street. CCTV's Jack Barton reports the story. Military movement in Mosul – Iraqi forces are poised to enter the ISIL-held city. The battle is expected to go from street to street. CCTV’s Jack Barton reports the story.

Military movement in Mosul – Iraqi forces are poised to enter the ISIL-held city. The battle is expected to go from street to street.

CCTV’s Jack Barton reports the story.

Iraqi army prepares to retake Mosul from ISIL

Iraqi army prepares to retake Mosul from ISIL

Military movement in Mosul - Iraqi forces are poised to enter the ISIL-held city. The battle is expected to go from street to street. CCTV's Jack Barton reports the story.

On Monday the Iraqi Special Forces backed by artillery and coalition airstrikes launched a major offensive from Bartella and from two other fronts.

“All that’s left are a few meters, less than a kilometer separates us from Mosul. It will be the beginning of our entry into Mosul,” said Colonel Moustafa al-Obeidi from Iraqi Counter-terrorism Forces.

Some officers said privately that Iraqi troops had already fought just inside the city limits.

The guns fell silent towards evening across what now looks like a ghost town.

Most people suffered under ISIL, but particularly minorities like Yazidis, Shiite Muslims and Christians, as the destruction in this church testifies. The graves outside have all been desecrated including that of a priest whose body lies in the open just around the corner.

The church cross was torn down by ISIL, but replaced by a wooden crucifix.

I met the man who put it up, a Muslim colonel who tells me that if ISIL did any good it was to make Iraqi’s more unified.

The battle for Mosul itself is now truly underway, but even soldiers like Colonel Jasim acknowledge that recapturing the city doesn’t mean Iraq will be free of terrorism committed by ISIL-or by other groups with similar aims…but with different names.