Troops came within hundreds of meters from Mosul on Monday evening and are now the closest they’ve been since launching an operation two weeks ago to wrest the city from more than two years of ISIS rule.
Experts and officials have said that entering Mosul will likely trigger the fiercest fighting seen yet in the offensive, and that the battle is expected to be fought “street to street,” or even “house to house.”
The plan is to “squeeze” ISIS fighters from different directions, commanders say. But reports that the militant group has brought thousands of civilians — mostly women and children — into Mosul as human shields, raising serious concerns of a high number of civilian casualties in the battle.
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