In Mosul, the battle is for more than territory

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By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer 

The battle for Mosul is not so much a question of whether United States-trained Iraqi troops will push the Islamic State from the crucial city, but when and how, experts say.

Islamic State fighters are intent on trying to use civilians as human shields, and they are severely punishing any caught leaving the city. 

In addition, Pentagon officials anticipate houses wired for destruction with explosives and other booby traps, and ditches filled with oil that can be ignited, filling the sky with dense smoke that makes it more difficult for the US military to conduct aerial assaults in support of the Iraqi troops.

The Islamic State’s goal is to keep Mosul at any cost or to turn its loss into a humanitarian disaster.

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