Iraqi forces flash the sign for victory as they deploy in the area of Al-Shourah, some 45 kms south of Mosul, as they advance towards the city to retake it from Daesh militants, on October 17, 2016. AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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IRBIL, Iraq: Iraqi forces have launched their most complex anti-Daesh operation to date: retaking Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.TROOP BUILDUPIraqi forces began moving into Ninevah province to surround Mosul in July, when ground troops led by the country's elite special forces retook Qayyarah air base south of the city. Thousands of Iraqi troops are now massing there ahead of the planned operation. Iraqi troops also deployed east of Mosul in the Khazer area, along with Kurdish peshmerga forces, and to the north of the city near the Mosul Dam and Bashiqa areas.THE PLAYERSIn addition to the Iraqi army, Kurdish peshmerga forces, Iraqi special forces and Sunni tribal fighters, Shiite militia forces are also expected to play a role in the Mosul operation. WHAT TO EXPECTWhile Iraqi forces have won a number of territorial victories against Daesh over the past year, the Mosul fight is expected to be the most complex yet for the country's military.
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