- Title: Dawn start for Iraqi soldiers leaving base for operations against Islamic State
- Date: 24th October 2016
- Summary: QAYYARA, IRAQ (OCTOBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ARMOURED CARS, TENTS AND SOLDIERS AT QAYYARA MILITARY BASE IRAQI ARMY SOLDIER ON TOP OF AN ARMOURED VEHICLE GUN ATTACHED TO ARMOURED VEHICLE VARIOUS OF SOLDIER CHECKING HEAVY MACHINE-GUN ATTACHED TO ARMOURED VEHICLE MORE OF MACHINE-GUN SOLDIERS GATHERED AT THE BASE SOLDIER PLACING HIS PROTECTIVE GEAR IN THE ARMOURED CAR SOLDIER, WISAM MOHAMMED, STANDING NEAR HUMVEE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SOLDIER, WISAM MOHAMMED, SAYING: "Thank God, we are in good shape. We have a duty which we carry out well every day. In the morning, we prepare our vehicles. The fighters are all ready, and we hope to be able to liberate wide areas of land, we will move forward one step at a time until we can liberate Iraq as soon as possible." SOLDIERS HOLDING UP VICTORY SIGN (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SOLDIER, HAIDAR, SAYING: "Our spirits are high, we are moving forward to support to our brothers. As you know as soldiers we want to help out our people. Our spirits will remain high; they will not be able to defeat us." SOLDIERS SPEAKING TO EACH OTHER SOLDIER USING HIS CELLPHONE SOLDIERS GATHERED AT THE BASE RIFLE HELD BY A SOLDIER SOLDIER SITTING ON TOP OF A HUMVEE VARIOUS OF HUMVEES AND ARMOURED CARS DRIVING OUT OF THE BASE
- Embargoed: 8th November 2016 07:45
- Keywords: Iraq soldiers Islamic State Qayyara base Mosul
- Location: QAYYARA, IRAQ
- City: QAYYARA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Insurgencies
- Reuters ID: LVA00155D5747
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Just after dawn on Sunday (October 23), soldiers on the Iraqi Qayyara military base prepared their gear and their equipment in preparation for the day's battle.
The forces are part of a wider operation to capture Mosul from Islamic State militants, in what is expected to become the biggest battle in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
One soldier, Wisam Mohammed, said the soldiers were ready to face the jihadists.
"Thank God, we are in good shape. We have a duty which we carry out well every day. In the morning, we prepare our vehicles. The fighters are all ready, and we hope to be able to liberate wide areas of land, we will move forward one step at a time until we can liberate Iraq as soon as possible," he said.
An Iraqi force of about 30,000, joined by U.S. special forces and under American, French and British air cover, is ready to push into the Mosul after recapturing Falluja and Ramadi, west of Baghdad, and seizing the Sunni stronghold of Tikrit in central Iraq.
The Iraqi army's media office said about 50 villages had been taken from the militants since Monday last week (October 17) in operations to prepare the main thrust into the city itself, where 5,000 to 6,000 IS fighters are dug in, according to Iraqi estimates.
Coalition forces have advanced to within 5 km (3 miles) of Mosul at the closest point, the interior minister of the Kurdish regional government has said.
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