Iraqi forces have been trying to wrest the control of Mosul city back from ISIL, who captured the northern city in June 2014.
The government forces are trying to capitalise on recent gains after retaking Ramadi city last month.
But Mosul, with its population of more than two million people, will prove a bigger challenge than previous campaigns. And there are already fears about the loss of civilian life.
On this Inside Story, we ask if Baghdad is up to the task? And look at the expanding US marine presence near the front lines.
Presenter: Dareen Abughaida
Ranj Alaaldin - Middle East Specialist at the London School of Economics
Sabah Al Mukhtar - President of the Arab Lawyers Association
Michael Pregent - Adjunct-fellow at the Hudson Institute. Formerly embedded as a military adviser with the Peshmerga in Mosul
Source: Al Jazeera