Since 2014 the city of Mosul in Iraq has been under control by Islamic state. However in October 2016, Iraqi forces as well as allied forces including the United Kingdom, USA and France begun an assault to take back the city.
Allied forces have successfully regained control of most of eastern Mosul, however an estimated 3000 Islamic state fighters still remain in west Mosul. The offensive was launched yesterday, with US forces providing air strikes on IS positions. Along with Islamic state fighters there are still a large number of civilians in the area, who are at risk of both being used as human shields by Islamic state and being caught in the crossfire between allied forces and Islamic state. Although many civilians may have managed to escape to the east side of the city, where it will likely be safer.
It may take a long time for allied forces to fully retake west Mosul, as it has taken 3 months for allied forces to fully retake east Mosul. However if the offensive is a success it will be a hard blow to the power that IS have in Iraq, as Mosul appears to be their last stronghold in the country.