Iraqi Special Operation Forces (ISOF) – also known as the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) – units advancing northwards for the operation to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul have been seen with new vehicles.

Photographs released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 18 June showed a combined Iraqi Army-ISOF force that it said was in Salah-al-Din province and advancing towards Al-Qayyarah, the current objective in the push towards Mosul, 60 km to the north.

The black-painted ISOF vehicles included Oshkosh M-ATVs, a type of all-terrain armoured vehicle that has not previously been seen in Iraqi service. They were fitted with remote weapon stations armed with heavy machine guns or automatic grenade launchers and some had mast-mounted surveillance cameras and what appeared to be antennas for improvised explosive device (IED) jamming equipment. […]