ITV News witnesses ferocious battle for Mosul

  • Video report by ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine

ITV News has witnessed first-hand the ferocious battle for Mosul travelling with Iraqi special forces.

The unit came under constant attack from suicide bombers driving trucks packed with explosives at their vehicles in a last ditch attempt to stop them.

Senior International Correspondent John Irvine described the dramatic moment suicide bombers just missed the unit.

"Special forces fired on a saloon car which had overturned speeding down a road.

"When nothing happened it was thought the driver was an innocent just trying to flee the battlefield.

"But no - he was a suicide bomber who had missed us."

Two lead the way as the convoy comes under sniper fire. Credit: ITV News

Moments later, a plume of smoke billowed into the air from the second suicide attack near the convoy.

But it wasn't the last. The commander pleaded with everyone onboard to be vigilant as another suicide attack on the way was soon spotted.

Within seconds, he was heading towards the vehicle.

A suicide bomber drives towards the convoy. Credit: ITV News

At first the convoy's getaway faltered but was soon bouncing over the rugged terrain hoping for the best.

As the convoy came to a stop when it had reached its objective, there was relief to have suffered only a spate of bullet holes.

But another suicide bomber was then spotted.

The vehicle ITV News travelled in suffered multiple bullet holes. Credit: ITV News

Suicide bombers are by far the most effective weapon IS have against advancing Iraqi forces.

But the Iraqis are getting better and better at dealing with them.

Senior International Correspondent John Irvine said the team were "just glad all of us and our battered vehicle had made it through".