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The fog of war as Peshmerga forces close in on Mosul

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 01:18

Peshmerga fighters advance through the village of Bartella as combined forces advance on Mosul to oust Islamic State. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Surveying a battlefield as Iraqi and Kurdish forces close in on Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq. It is here, in a series of villages outside of Mosul, where the assault begins. (SOUNDBITE) (Kurdish) MEMBER OF PESHMERGA FORCES, AHMAD ABDELFATTAH, SAYING: "Thank God we entered the area and we gained control over most of the land. The Peshmerga forces were victorious, despite the brutality of the war. We gained control over ten villages, which we are cleansing." Islamic State says otherwise -- that their foes surrounded five villages but had not taken them. None of the reports could be independently verified. They move on knowing there is nothing easy about what comes next as they close in on Mosul itself. Tens of thousands of civilians could be forcibly expelled -- or could be used as human shields. And while the fall of Mosul could signal the defeat of the ultra-hardline Sunni jihadists in Iraq -- it could also lead to land grabs and sectarian bloodletting -- a replay of what happened in 2003 after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

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The fog of war as Peshmerga forces close in on Mosul

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 01:18