Calm before the storm as soldiers prepare for the Battle of Mosul


Calm before the storm as soldiers prepare for the Battle of Mosul
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand next to a fire as they gather on the top of Mount Zardak, about 25 kilometres east of Mosul (Picture: AFP)

Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the start of operations to liberate the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) militants.

State TV showed a brief written statement announcing the start of the widely-anticipated military offensive to drive IS out of Iraq’s second largest city.

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