Iraqi and Kurdish forces are going town-by-town in the multi-front
advance on Mosul, liberating villages as they go and finding varying
degrees of ISIS resistance along the way.
Bartella is an Assyrian
town less than half an hour east of Mosul on Iraq's Highway 2. Once home
to about 20,000 people, it was largely left a ghost town when the
Christians fled to Kurdistan after ISIS invaded in August 2014.
The town was liberated Thursday by Iraqi special forces and the Nineveh Plain Protection Units, an Assyrian Christian militia.
Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces inspect the church of Saint Shmoni,
damaged by Islamic State fighters, in Bartella, Iraq, on Oct. 23, 2016.
(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
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