Knocking on Mosul's door

As battle for strategic Iraqi city gets under way, hundreds of thousands of residents face imminent displacement.

| | Middle East, Battle for Mosul, Iraq

The battle for Mosul, which has been under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since June 2014, is key to the group's ultimate defeat.

Iraqi forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and their international allies have already cleared dozens of villages on the outskirts of Mosul. However, the fight against ISIL, also known as ISIS, has been complicated by territorial arguments between Iraqi and Kurdish forces, with the Kurds angling to assert control over certain disputed areas liberated from ISIL.

From the Bashiqa frontline, just 20km from Mosul, a mountain top offers a clear view of the city, from where hundreds of thousands of residents are expected to flee as the battle unfolds.

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