The battle was lengthy and bloody, punctuated by wrenching moments of human tragedy.

Los Angeles Occasions employees photographer Carolyn Cole coated the exodus of Iraqis from in and round Mosul within the days main as much as the 9-month wrestle to oust Islamic State extremists from Iraq’s second-largest metropolis. She shadowed Iraqi particular forces as they started their drive to liberate the town in October, encountering former militant fighters of unsure loyalties and determined civilians discovering tenuous haven in teeming camps.

Occasions employees photographer Marcus Yam arrived in Mosul within the spring, when the town’s western sector was kind of freed from the extremist group, however nonetheless a dangerous and unpredictable surroundings. He hung out with a staff of devoted bomb defusers as they went concerning the harmful process of clearing explosives from the town. He additionally coated the harrowing aftermath of coalition airstrikes, which left a whole lot lifeless and wounded.

And Yam produced shifting pictures of the cleanup and restoration of the College of Mosul, a former stronghold of Islamic State whose ongoing reclamation marks an essential symbolic milestone for a shattered and sorrowing metropolis.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

Iraqi households flee Mosul, the place authorities forces and their allies have been battling Islamic State in November. Greater than 1 million individuals have been considered trapped within the metropolis.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

An Iraqi particular forces soldier makes his approach to a roof in Mosul. The varied teams battling Islamic State are united by a standard enemy for now, however they’ve very totally different concepts about what ought to occur after the militants are gone.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

Displaced Iraqis arrive in a dump truck at Hassan Sham, a United Nations refugee camp east of Mosul.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

Sada Muslat, seventy one, greets her son Waeed Ahmed Hussein, whom she had not seen in almost three years, on the Hassan Sham camp.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

At a military clinic, arrange in a house deserted first by its house owners, then by Islamic State, Capt. Osama Fuad Rauf, middle, and Maj. Mohammed Hassan Abdullah deal with a soldier injured in preventing close to Mosul.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

Omar Ahmed, a 21-yr-previous native of east Mosul, stated he was a reluctant militant. “At first, I refused the thought. I refused them,” he stated. However as soon as Islamic State got here to energy, he stated he had no selection. He was despatched to battle, first in neighboring Syria, then in Mosul.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Occasions)

The physique of a person stated to be an Islamic State fighter lies in a road in Mosul. Iraqi troops’ remedy of suspected militants has raised some considerations.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Males get their identification playing cards again after police checked them at a displaced individuals camp south of Mosul.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Giving a warning signal, Wissam Daoud prepares to securely detonate unexploded ordnance in entrance of a store in west Mosul. He has tracked the evolution of the militants’ explosives by way of half a dozen offensives, and he can determine them at a look.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Wissam Daoud views the spot the place his pal, Amir Abdul Mahdi, was shot by a sniper, in west Mosul.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

A physique is faraway from the rubble of a house within the Jadidah neighborhood of Mosul. A March 17 airstrike is believed to have brought about the deaths of greater than 270 civilians.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

A person grieves over a physique bag that held the stays of a pregnant lady discovered within the rubble of a house in Mosul’s Jadidah neighborhood after the March 17 airstrike.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Turkya Azudin watches restoration groups at work. She stated she misplaced 18 family members within the March 17 airstrike.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Ali Thanoon was buried beneath concrete for 5 days after the March 17 airstrike. He was handled at a hospital in Irbil.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Jasim Mohammed Ali, left, says an airstrike on Nov. 17 destroyed his household’s east Mosul residence, killing his son and 6 grandsons.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Mohammed Kamal Mahmoud stops to greet a good friend as he bikes via Mosul in March.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Sura Hussein Abdulmaged is considered one of lots of of younger Iraqi volunteers working to wash up the College of Mosul, a former outpost of Islamic State, in April.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Occasions)

Volunteers clear particles from a college constructing. Militants looted the campus for something helpful: historic manuscripts, uncommon books, computer systems and money.