oil fields fire

IRAQ. Nineveh governorate. Qayyarah. January 2017. Thick smoke rises from a fire after oil wells were set ablaze by Islamic State militants. Iraqi government troops say they are in ‘full control’ of east Mosul three months into a major operation to recapture the country’s second city, despite some Islamic State fighters remaining along the Tigris river.

Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

IRAQ. Nineveh governorate. Qayyarah. October 19, 2016. An Iraqi man walks on a street covered with smoke after oil wells were set ablaze about 60 kilometres south of Mosul.

Photograph: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty

IRAQ. Nineveh governorate. Qayyarah. November 12, 2016. Iraq’s Battle To Reclaim Its Cities. A family flees the fighting in Mosul as oil fields burn.

More than two years after the Islamic State first blitzed across Iraq in 2014, Iraqi security forces are scrambling to evict the militant group from Mosul, its last major stronghold in the country. The campaign has displaced nearly 70,000 Iraqis, and may uproot hundreds of thousands more. With an escalating number of civilians caught up in the battle, some military officials are second-guessing their initial strategy.

General News, Second Prize, Stories at the World Press Photo Contest.

Photograph: Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

IRAQ. Nineveh governorate. Near Qayyarah. November 25, 2016. An Iraqi shepherd watches over his flock of sheep, their fleece blackened by smoke from burning oil wells set ablaze by ISIS jihadists before retreating towards Mosul, as they graze.

Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty

IRAQ. Nineveh governorate. Qayyarah. November 10, 2016. A group of boys play in a street outside their home in front of a burning oil well set on fire by fleeing ISIS members.

Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty