The fighting for the Iraqi city of Mosul has become a close-quarters battle between hardened ISIS fighters and Iraqi special forces troops. The battle is now a no-holds-barred, house-to-house, street by street bloody affair as the Iraqis seek to drive the ISIS fighters out of the final large city of Iraq.

ISIS had named Mosul as their capital of their self-named caliphate and trying to hold onto the city at all costs and to extract the largest possible price by the Iraqi forces trying to take back their country.

Mosul is separated by the Tigris River that runs north-south. Iraqi forces supported by US Special Operations Forces captured the eastern part of the city late in 2016 and now are trying to recapture the western half.

“The fighting is at much closer quarters. It was street-by-street – now it’s house-by-house,” said Iraqi commando Alaa Shaker, 32, a member of the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS).