The battle for Mosul

PhotographerTommy Trenchard
PrizeGold in Press / War
Entry Description

On 19th February 2017 Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi Prime Minister, announced the start of the offensive to retake western Mosul from ISIS, who had controlled the city since 2014. Surrounded on all sides by Iraqi forces, the militants dug in for the long haul, using car bombs, snipers, mortars and grenade-laden drones to slow the troops advance. As the fighting intensified, civilians began to flee the city in their thousands, ending up in a series of hastily erected IDP camps. Western Mosul is ISIS' last major stronghold in Iraq and it's fall would be a bitter blow for the group, whose caliphate was announced here, in the city's central mosque, in 2014.