VIDEO: Iraqi Forces Secure the Historic Christian Town of Bartella
The Iraqi town of Bartella was littered with debris and rubble on Saturday as Special Forces moved in to secure the area.
But it will be some time before people can return to the town, which witnessed intense fighting on Thursday between ISIS and troops from the counter-terrorism service (CTS) which are spearheading the Mosul offensive along with Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Iraq’s army and national police.
The terrorist dispatched more than a dozen vehicle-borne IEDs against government forces in the span of a few hours, Iraqi commanders said, but they left many more planted throughout the town’s streets and buildings.
The road west into Bartella is now littered with the remnants of that battle: bullet casings, deactivated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), shrapnel from car bombs and roadside blasts.
Bartella, once home to thousands of Assyrian Christians, emptied in August 2014 when Islamic State seized control as part of a lightning blitz across large swathes of Iraq and neighbouring Syria.