Displaced people from Mosul and outskirts arrive in the town of Bashiqa, after it was recaptured from the Islamic State, east of Mosul, Iraq, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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Not far away, an Iraqi soldier fired a few rounds from his Kalashnikov rifle into the air.A month into their battle with Iraqi forces for control of the city of Mosul, the militants are leaving behind not just physical devastation but environmental damage from a cocktail of toxic pollutants, human rights groups say.In Qayyarah, a town 60 kilometers south of Mosul, Daesh fighters launched at least three chemical attacks in September and October after Iraqi forces recaptured the town in August, Human Rights Watch said in a report last week.The United Nations says Daesh is stockpiling ammonia and sulfur in civilian areas and fears it intends to carry out more chemical attacks as Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. air power, battle the extremists in an effort to drive them out of Mosul, their last major stronghold in Iraq.A 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, has almost surrounded Mosul, a month into the campaign to drive out Daesh.
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