The Race for Mosul Is On

The Golden Division is one of the Iraqi Army’s elite units — famed across the country for its role in liberating cities such as Ramadi, Fallujah, and Tikrit from the Islamic State. Now, its sights are set on Mosul.

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A tank belonging to the Iraqi Army's Golden Division rolls into a deserted village on Oct. 20, on its way toward the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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A soldier with the Iraqi Army's Golden Division awaits orders to advance at a staging area near the village of Khazir, east of Mosul.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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Samad, a soldier in the Iraqi Army's Golden Division, washes his unit's Humvees while awaiting orders to deploy against the Islamic State.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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The Iraqi Army's Golden Division rolls into a deserted village, which had previously been liberated from the Islamic State by Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The offensive to liberate the city of Mosul from the jihadist group depends on a previously unprecedented degree of coordination between the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish fighters.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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A convoy of the 5th Brigade of the Iraqi Army's Golden Division makes it way across the desert to Mosul.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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Coordination between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga, however, has not been perfect. The Golden Division's advance stalled on Wednesday, as the orders to push forward were delayed. To stave off their growing frustration, some soldiers organized an impromptu soccer game.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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Maj. Gen. Raad Rukun Hazem Kareem speaks on the phone during meetings with his officers before operations on against Islamic State-held villages around Mosul.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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The Iraqi Army's Golden Division armor units advance on Oct. 20.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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A solder with the Iraqi Army's Golden Division stands atop a tank with a Shiite flag fluttering beside him.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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The Iraqi Army's Golden Division moves into a deserted village previously liberated by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on Oct. 20.

OSIE GREENWAY (Foreign Policy)
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