QAYARA AIR BASE, Iraq – For Saif, an Iraqi army corporal, the battle for Mosul is intensely personal. Over the course of two years of Islamic State rule, the extremists destroyed his home, arrested his father, killed his brother and forced his fiancee into a marriage with an IS fighter.
Now he’s looking for revenge.
“I used to be a normal person. My dream was just to save enough money to build a house so I could get married,” the 30-year-old soldier said, nervously fiddling with his cigarette.