The Road to Mosul

2015 ,    »  -   9 Comments
Ratings: 8.63/10 from 101 users.
The Road to Mosul

This installment of Vice News puts viewers on the front lines of Mosul, where Kurdish soldiers known as Peshmerga are the only remaining ground forces fighting against the Islamic State (IS) in Northern Iraq. Reporter Aris Roussinos and his camera team join the Peshmergan soldiers in this frightening look inside an active war zone.

Based out of Sinjar, Iraq, the Peshmerga hold a 600-mile front line that almost completely surrounds Mosul. We learn the IS controls 77% of the Sinjar region, which caused the Peshmerga to move into the mountains where they have staked out the high ground. This standpoint has allowed them to both provide cover for their people and maintain a lookout for enemy fire, which is constant. Operating in ten-day shifts, the soldiers work night and day to stand their ground and maintain their positions in the hills. Sweeping panoramas allow the audience to see the region as a stationed soldier would. Small points of light sweep back-and-forth across the distant sky as the IS and Peshmerga exchange fire, and large truckloads of arms and supplies are seen travelling to and from IS outposts.

The news team captures chilling footage of Peshmerga forces under attack, causing the filmmakers to be evacuated when sniper fire becomes too intense. IS forces attempt to conquer the hilltop outposts 24 hours a day, making their most aggressive advances at night. But, as one soldier explains, morale is high amongst the Peshmerga, as the Kurds have essentially grown up in war and are eager to combat against terrorist forces. They express a desire to fight for any country in the war against terror, hoping they could in turn receive similar support in their battle against the Islamic State.

This look at the ongoing conflict in Iraq reveals the Peshmerga to be a calm and confident group in the face of constant battle. While at the time of filming the Peshmerga continued to maintain their stronghold in the region, it remains to be seen how the situation will resolve. A chilling and open-ended story, The Road to Mosul is an eye-opening report on the current climate of violence in the Middle East.

More great documentaries

9 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Squito

    The Kurds are among the finest fighting forces in the world. Why the U.S. wont openly support them is a frustrating mystery. I hope it isn't one more of those nefarious money-based reasons, for some corporate entity or for oil somehow. I also hope that even though they aren't getting any obvious American support they are at least getting support under the table. It boggles the mind that the one fighting force who has been consistently successful against the barbaric and savage ISIS isn't widely and openly supported by every major power.
    The same powers who regularly seem toothless and ineffective in their own efforts, such as they are. The Kurds have my complete respect and admiration. And they also have my heartfelt sympathy for the many injustices and broken promises they have had inflicted on them, and you can include the United States in my accusations as well.

  2. Kamar Raimo

    As far as I can see it, it is a political matter. Kurds have been in dispute with Turkey over territory for decades. Ever since the Iraq war began Turkey has been worried about their eastern border regions which are traditionally populated by Kurds.

    Turkey is also a NATO member and important ally in the area. Arming the Kurds would make them very nervous about a strengthened Kurdish nation rising and also taking over the part of Turkey that they contest.

    The resulting compromise is this halfway arrangement where the Kurds are getting supplies of basic and protective nature like the bodyarmor and night-vision equipment seen in the documentary. Heavy weapons or even bulk supply of light weaponry and ammunition are still restricted though.

    If it were about oil alone, the western powers would love to supply the Kurds with as much as they could and make them indebted "friends" because the second largest oil and gas reservoirs of the country lie in this region.

    Just putting troops there wouldn't work either. The Kurdish are pretty sensitive about having their homelands occupied. I guess that became obvious from many statements heard in the documentary. For generations they have fought against the Turkish, against the Iraqi government of Saddham Hussein (the old commander mentions fighting the Bhaatists, that's them) and now they fight against IS. They would fight against any American, British or other forces occupying their country with the same tenacity now that they finally have a country of their own after such a long struggle.

    This whole area straddling Syria, Turkey and Iraq is a complex diplomatic minefield, and the IS deals with it by sending suicide missions in. Literally.

    Unfortunately they are so far still successful with this reckless abandon.

  3. Dubbledub

    Sounds like a Brit, looks like a towlie.

  4. Dubbledub

    Is it an Arab thing, where they can't directly answer a question? They answer in riddles, talking round and round the question.

  5. Just Me

    "Among the finest fighting force in the world"? From what this video shows they are a f--king joke, but then again so is ISIS. I guess that is why this is dragging out so long. They seem to be evenly matched..... which is poorly.

  6. james WJ

    The Kurds are a very good force. But with 2Million+ ISIS and growing they need more US support. I don't get how the US can openly support random groups of people who turn into terrorists (like they trained and equipped ISIS and many others) but not Kurdish fighters who are genuinely good people. Atleast the Kurdish are fighting to keep women and children of the middle-east safe whilst their husbands/fathers flood the rest of Europe looking for a free house and money instead of fighting.

  7. michael

    im definetly taking my hat off to the kurds. their loyal, with honor and willing to step to the beast while everyone else runs and hides

  8. JITW

    When the war will go to different countries, is the same term, but, different people, the honor for this people to protect his people is awesome,
    in presonal war should not exist, but here shown its true face is distorted and not in the media

  9. Michael

    The Kurds deserve their country (Kurdistan). They are the only people in middleast who really fights for peace! Long live Peshmerge and Kurdistan.

Leave a comment / review: