Inside the coalition against Islamic State, a quieter battle is being waged for the fate of northern Iraq
At night, the temperature around the Islamic State-held city of Mosul drops to around 80°F. At the Bashiqa front line, 15 miles northeast of the city, it would feel pleasant and almost calm, were it not for the steady sound of exploding shells. Most of life is tea and cigarettes. It’s like a quiet day on the Western Front, minus the mud.