“Don’t open the door under any circumstances,” shouts Iraqi special forces soldier Salem, as his Humvee climbs over the wreckage of Mosul’s Old City. “Daesh run out from houses and side streets and blow themselves up anytime.” Large military vehicles were never supposed to be part of the battle for the Old City – its ancient streets are too narrow. But the intensity of the airstrikes in the final stages of the offensive against so-called Islamic State has been so great that armoured bulldozers now plough their way through.
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Starving civilians and suicide bombings: The terrible truth of liberating Mosul