Watch as an Iraqi special forces convoy on Thursday plowed toward the ISIS-held city of Mosul in northern Iraq — coming under repeated attacks by suicide bombers and snipers from the terror group that has occupied the second-largest city in Iraq since June of 2014.
The whole frightening scene can be viewed in the video, above.
John Irvine, a senior correspondent for Britain’s ITV News, is embedded with the Iraqi special forces troops, riding in the lead truck on the way to Mosul. He describes the tense and potentially deadly scene as the cameras roll.
“Special forces fired on a saloon car which had overturned speeding down a road,” Irvine says in the video. “When nothing happened it was thought the driver was an innocent just trying to flee the battlefield. But no. He was a suicide bomber who had missed us.”
Irvine counts at least three other suicide bombers who attempted to blow up the Iraqi military vehicles as they make the slog down a desert highway toward the beleaguered city, as part of the joint Iraqi-Kurdish offensive intended to drive ISIS out of Mosul.
Not all Iraqi soldiers have been as lucky, as ISIS has scored some successes with its suicide attacks. The following video, taken on October 17, shows an ISIS suicide car bomb attacking an Iraqi military convoy — and according to the Amsterdam-based Kurdish Firat News Agency, 70 Iraqi soldiers died in the explosion.
In another video, seen below, released by the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, or Hashid al-Shabi — a coalition of paramilitary militias mainly comprised of Sh’ia Muslim fighters backed by Iran but under the umbrella of the Iraqi government — Iraqi soldiers are seen snapping selfies, only to be interrupted by an ISIS suicide car bomb blowing up behind them.
Human rights organizations have raised an alarm about a pending humanitarian crisis that they feel is a certainty once the troops reach Mosul and major urban combat begins.
The crisis is already underway, they say, with ISIS fighters already kidnapping about 550 families from villages outside of the city, intending to use them as human shields when the Iraqi and Kurdish troops move into Mosul, which at one time had a population near 2 million people. But that population has been reduced by about half since ISIS took over.