What's the battle to retake Mosul like? This documentary takes you there.

The World

Reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was almost killed in Mosul, Iraq. It happened while he was shooting his latest documentary called "Battle for Iraq," a collaboration between Frontline and The Guardian.

But Abdul-Ahad says the near-death experience isn't stopping him from going back. Maybe it's because of his deep, personal connection to the city.

He was born in Baghdad but used to go to Mosul with his family frequently.

"We used to go [there] sometimes in the summer," he recalls. "During the Iran-Iraq war, my father was in a training camp there as a conscript soldier so sometimes he would take me with him."

But Mosul today is nothing like what Abdul-Ahad remembers. In June 2014, the city fell to ISIS fighters. Now, there is a major push by the Iraqi army and a coalition of foreign countries, including the US, to clear the city of the militant group.

Abdul-Ahad went to Mosul to find out how the fight is going.

"[There are] destroyed houses, wreckage of burned cars," he explains, "so no, it had nothing to do with my memories, unfortunately."

In the documentary, Abdul-Ahad follows around Iraqi soldiers and commanders in Mosul as they search neighborhoods for ISIS fighters.

Together, they dodge bullets, narrowly miss car bombs and run from sniper fire.

"Battle for Iraq" captures the difficulties Iraqi soldiers face when it comes to defeating ISIS. One major challenge is how to spot militants who hide among civilians.

The other is the mistrust that exists between Iraqi forces and civilians.

But the Iraqi soldiers are not deterred. They fight with determination.

Sadly, Abdul-Ahad doesn't see things in Mosul turning back to normal any time soon.

"There's so much trauma, so much darkness, so much PTSD in the society, I don't think it will be over even when Mosul is liberated," he says.

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