>> On the front line in Mosul, footage showing Kurdish Peshmerga fighters battling to retake a village near the city. Iraqi and allied forces making steady progress in their assault against Islamic State. Many neighboring settlements now freed with troops closing in on Mosul itself. These satellite images showing the impact of air and artillery attacks in the city, craters marking the site of explosions.
But IS may be ready to use desperate tactics. Local people contacted by phone by Reuters say the group is using human shields. Some residents being directed to buildings recently used by the militants. That makes them likely targets for air strikes. And with over a million civilians thought to remain in Mosul, IS won't run out of people to use.
Reuters correspondent Dominic Evans.>> Their presence obviously makes the military operation hugely more complicated. It will slow things down. And that sheer size of the city means it is unprecedented in terms of operations that have been carried out for the last two years in Iraq. It is five times bigger.
>> The Pentagon says IS may also be trying to use chemical weapons. Earlier this month, US forces detected traces of a sulphur mustard agent on fragments of a shell fired by jihadi forces. Washington says the group has been making its own poison gas, though its capabilities are limited.
US intelligence also indicating that jihadi leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi remains in the city. All the signs are that IS intends to make this a long battle.