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On Mosul’s Front Line: A Grueling Battle on Civilian Streets

Special forces soldiers took up defensive positions on the edge of Rifai after it was recaptured, and they waited for their next orders.

Then came the Islamic State’s counterattack. Under the cover of a sudden sandstorm, the jihadists fought the troops for hours before being driven off. The militants seldom seem to pass up the chance to use storms or other heavy weather, when coalition aircraft can’t target them, to press the fight.

On the front line the next morning, soldiers told how the intense gunfire during the storm battle had set their sandbag walls on fire. They appeared amazed that the Islamic State remained well equipped and capable, and described how the militants were disciplined about using vehicles and medics to retrieve their wounded.

Source: NYT > World

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