Photo illustration/National Geogrpahic

In a scene from National Geographic’s upcoming documentary series, Chain of Command, U.S. Army Col. Patrick Work addresses his command staff via video teleconference from a tent in an unnamed location in Iraq.

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U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon L. Rizzo

The grueling ground offensive against the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, is entering its final stage. The last few neighborhoods held by ISIS — approximately five square miles of snaking alleyways and narrow city streets — are expected to be the most difficult to retake for the U.S.-backed Iraqi Security Forces.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Callahan

A contingent of artillery Marines recently arrived in Syria to support friendly forces isolating Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State, according to Marine Corps Times.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon Maldonado

Defense officials have drawn up plans for as many as 1,000 ground troops to head to Syria in the coming weeks, the Washington Post reported this afternoon. If approved by President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the deployment would nearly double the American presence in the country ahead of the expected offensive on the Islamic State’s de facto capital, Raqqa.

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DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos

President Donald Trump announced a “historic” increase in military spending on Monday, calling it a “landmark event,” and saying that in such dangerous times, the military should have the tools it needs to fight and “only do one thing: Win."

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Associated Press photo

On October 17, the Iraqi military began its offensive to wrest Mosul from the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria two years after the terror organization seized the city. The rapid fall of Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city,  in 2014 was a disheartening defeat for Iraq’s security forces, and one that saw its soldiers lay down arms and flee in the wake of the terror group's advance.

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