iraqi special forces

IRAQ. Nineveh governorate. Mosul. November 13, 2016. An Iraqi special forces fighter walks with his rifle during fighting with Islamic State militants in eastern Mosul. Iraqi forces battled waves of suicide car bombs as they attempt to advance deeper into eastern Mosul, defended by militants from the so-called Islamic State group. 

Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP

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US Army Special forces and Iraqi commandos conduct a night raid to capture a high value target. The unit comes under hostile contact and responds with a high volume of fire during exfiltration.

Raid most likely occured between 2004 and 2006

IRAQ. Nineveh governorate. Mosul. May 27, 2017. An Iraqi special forces soldier looks toward Islamic State positions in the Saha neighbourhood. The Islamic State’s grip on Mosul has shrunk to a tighter circle of neighbourhoods in the western part of the city, but many civilians are still trapped in those areas, and the militants are giving no ground easily.

Photograph: Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Iraqi special forces advance into a neighbourhood in western Mosul, where they also took full control of the international airport on the city’s southwestern edge from the Islamic State on Friday.

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Showdown

With the infamous city of Fallujah being captured by Al-Qaeda linked insurgents, the Iraqi Special Operation Forces are now set to attempt what will undoubtedly be a bloody battle to recapture it.

ISOF are the most well equipped and trained counter-terrorism unit in the Middle East. They are also one of the most feared military forces in the region.

According to retired Lt. Col. Roger Carstens;

US Special Forces are “building the most powerful force in the region.” In 2008 Carstens, then a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, was an adviser to the Iraqi National Counter-Terror Force, where he helped set up the Iraqi counterterrorism laws that govern the ISOF.

“All these guys want to do is go out and kill bad guys all day,” he says, laughing. “These guys are shit hot. They are just as good as we are. We trained ‘em. They are just like us. They use the same weapons. They walk like Americans.”