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In Mosul, Revealing the Last ISIS Stronghold

Wearing just a bloodied vest and a dirty pair of shorts with no shoes, the man did not even know who the child was. He was immediately suspected of being an ISIS fighter who had merely used the boy as a human shield.

The troops took the man away, and the commander in charge held the boy on his lap. Doubting that the boy’s parents could still be alive, he decided that one of his men — he knew that the soldier and his wife had been unable to have children of their own — should adopt the boy.

Here on the battlefield, some of the men washed the child and his tattered clothing before the officer arrived to meet his new son.

As Iraqi forces took control of the Old City and searched the area, they seized several of the Islamic State’s undetonated car bombs, the heavily armored improvisations that became the most feared weapons in the militants’ arsenal. Soldiers drove one of the captured vehicles back to their base, sandwiched in a military convoy through west Mosul.

The few civilians who had come back to the area stopped in disbelief to watch the vehicle lumber by, still able to evoke shock even in safer hands.

Source: NYT > World

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