(CNN) – A tender father and daughter moment in the most brutal of landscapes, their home is only half-standing. The city around them is obliterated. Exclusive drone pictures obtained by CNN show the scale of destruction on the front lines of western Mosul.
Neighborhoods newly freed from ISIS by Iraqi forces. As Iraq’s elite golden division rolls in in its armored vehicles. ISIS retreats, paying a heavy price, bodies of its fighters still lie where they fell.
So recently recaptured is this neighborhood that the black flag of ISIS still flutters overhead. The streets below, eerily deserted. A makeshift road block from where ISIS fought only weeks ago, still standing.
The dark smoke from burning tires and debris billow across the skyline. Desperate attempts by ISIS to hide themselves from airstrikes. Here the camera catches an explosion, thought to be a mortar hitting a building, a reminder that fighting rages on only meters away.
After months of street to street battle between ISIS and Iraqi forces, and pounding from coalition air strikes, the scale of devastation in this part of Mosul is unimaginable. It seems every building, every street, every car… is shattered. Nothing left to support human life.
These civilians forced to flee, clutching their children and their few belongings. Who knows what future lies before them, as they join the millions of other refugees running from this war.
For those who stay behind, picking through the splintered remains of their lives. Moments of joy still possible, before they are lost again in this bleak and dusty scene.