The Mosul SWAT team joined the fight to dislodge the Islamic State from Mosul in mid October. Unlike most Iraqi forces engaged in the biggest military campaign since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, SWAT is composed entirely of native sons of Mosul. They were fighting their way back to their homes, their families, and their city. A mixed unit of both Sunni and Shia, SWAT had one key criteria for membership- they must have been injured by or suffered the loss of a loved one at the hands of ISIS. Over the course of the campaign they suffered terrible caualties as they fought to free their beloved city from a deadly and determined ISIS resistance.
Rudwan walks past the body of an ISIS fighter killed in an airstrike, Khrbadan, near the Makhmour front.
Lt. Saad smokes a hookah, waiting for orders to join the fight for Mosul, at a base in Mahana.
Major Mehzr Sadoon, deputy commander of the Mosul SWAT, tries to repair a broken RPG launcher, Mosul.
Captain Bassam detonates a massive car bomb found in the village of Salahiyah, south of Mosul.
Bricks rain down from the blast.
SWAT occupy a new forward position in the Hael Aden neighborhood, Mosul.
Refugees from the village Julekhan flee the fighting east of Mosul.
ISIS tunnel, Tal Ashiyir.
Ahmed, an ISIS member stopped from fleeing Mosul by SWAT.
Sgt. Hussein Said, selfie with a dead ISIS fighter.
Emad, upstairs, Mosul.
Wounded SWAT arrive for treatment at an Iraqi army aid station in the village of Sherazad.
Lt. Thamer reacts to the death of his men, killed in Entissar.
Iraqi Army medics cover the body of SWAT member Jawad Mustafa, moments after he died from wounds he sustained in a suicide car bomb attack.
Mahsn Ahmed Mahsn cries over the body of his comrade Sephyan Fawaz, killed in Mosul.
Cpl. Ehab Rafa leads Sgt. Dombuk to be evacuated for his injuries after they withdrew from the fighting in Mosul.
Maj. Mezher, injured in Mosul.
SWAT pile out of a pickup in Hael Aden.
Safwan ducks behind a humvee to avoid sniper fire.
Aythem fights in Kudis Al Jadida.
Camped out in Mosul.
Refugees file out of the city.
8 year old, wounded in a mortar attack.
A decoy to draw ISIS fire.
Penned in on both sides by snipers.
Bathroom mirror, sniper alley.
Rooftop firefight in Mosul.
Innocence and experience.
Cpl. Ehab Rafa embraces family members for the first time in two years since the ISIS takeover of Mosul.
Streets of Mosul.