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Four Iraqi commandos at the base were among those awarded medals by Defense Secretary Ash Carter during his visit earlier this month. David Welna/NPR hide caption

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David Welna/NPR

Defense Secretary Ash Carter Predicts 'Tough Fight' Ahead To Retake Mosul

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A young fighter stands at a checkpoint near the Jada'aa camp for internally displaced people. Just before dusk, the sky is darkened by smoke from oil fires set by ISIS nearby. Jane Arraf/NPR hide caption

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Jane Arraf/NPR

For Iraqi Families With ISIS Links, Agonizing Choices — And Consequences

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The Sheikhan criminal court occupies a municipal office building north of Mosul. Cases are heard after long delays and defense attorneys have limited contact with their clients. Peter Kenyon/NPR hide caption

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Peter Kenyon/NPR

At A Makeshift Iraqi Court, Harsh Justice For Those Accused Of Aiding ISIS

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Iraqi children follow instructions given by a teacher (center) during an outdoor class at the Hassan Sham camp on Nov. 10. Felipe Dana/AP hide caption

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Felipe Dana/AP

ISIS Drove Them From School. Now The Kids Of Mosul Want To Go Back

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Archaeologist Layla Salih looks around the ancient site of Nimrud, in northern Iraq, outside Mosul. The Islamic State captured the area in 2014 and destroyed many of its archaeological treasures that date back 3,000 years. The extremist group was recently driven out of Nimrud, allowing Salih and others to come back and survey the extensive damage. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

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Alice Fordham/NPR

In Northern Iraq, ISIS Leaves Behind An Archaeological Treasure In Ruins

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Shiite worshippers gather for Arbaeen in Karbala on Nov. 20. Dozens of Shiite pilgrims were targeted for attack Thursday after the holiday, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. Karim Kadim/AP hide caption

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Karim Kadim/AP

Iraqi soldiers pose on a tank they captured from ISIS in a small base a few miles east of Mosul. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

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Alice Fordham/NPR

The Fight For Mosul, Underway For A Month, Is Only Just Beginning

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President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Charlotte, N.C., on July 26. Trump has no military experience, but will become commander in chief at a time when the U.S. is bombing targets in four separate wars. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP

Khalid Yaako Touma, a school teacher and deacon in the village of Karamlesh, collects religious books from one of the churches in the village that ISIS destroyed. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

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Alice Fordham/NPR

ISIS Is Gone, But Iraqi Christians Are Wary Of Returning Home

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Iraqis living east of Mosul hold a white flag as they flee Wednesday during an Iraqi army's operation to retake the ISIS-held city. So far, the number of civilians fleeing the fighting has been relatively small. But aid groups warn the numbers could rise dramatically as the fighting moves into the city itself. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

As Iraqi Forces Push Into Mosul, Camps Brace For An Influx Of The Displaced

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Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces advance toward Islamic State positions Tuesday in the village of Tob Zawa, about 5 miles from Mosul, Iraq. Khalid Mohammed/AP hide caption

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Khalid Mohammed/AP

A boy carries mattresses at a camp for displaced families in Debaga, about 50 miles southeast of Mosul, Iraq, on Monday. Camp residents who recently fled areas controlled by the Islamic State say they expect the extremist group to put up a tough fight in Mosul and surrounding areas. Marko Drobnjakovic/AP hide caption

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Marko Drobnjakovic/AP

Near Mosul, Some Residents Flee ISIS, Others Stay And Fight With ISIS

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