Battle for Mosul: How ISIS is fighting to keep its Iraqi stronghold

Updated 7:11 PM EDT, Tue October 25, 2016
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Story highlights

ISIS is putting up a fierce fight to hold on to Iraq's second city, the largest under its control

Outnumbered by advancing forces, it relies on tunnels, terror tactics and suicide bombs

CNN —  

Just over a week into the battle for Mosul, and the vast coalition seeking to oust ISIS from Iraq’s second city is making swifter than expected progress.

But for all its gains – 78 villages liberated, and nearly 800 ISIS fighters killed as of Monday morning – the Iraqi coalition is encountering fierce resistance from ISIS, in what is anticipated to be the terror group’s last stand in the country.

Massively outnumbered by the advancing coalition – a 90,000-strong force of Iraqi government troops, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and irregular militia soldiers – ISIS relies on asymmetric warfare tactics to inflict damage on its opponents, and terrorize long-suffering civilian populations.

Here’s how the terror group is fighting to maintain its two-year grip on the city.