Iraq Braces for New Wave of Displaced as 1.5 Million Threatened by Battle for Mosul

Fighting could send as many as 100,000 refugees into war-torn Syria.
3:04 | 10/17/16

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Transcript for Iraq Braces for New Wave of Displaced as 1.5 Million Threatened by Battle for Mosul
Making news from overseas a major battle against diocese is now underway in Iraq. Government forces are pushing into Mosul a city of a million people and the last major city in Iraq held by the extremist group. The US led coalition also targeted nicest positions with airstrikes overnight ABC's Alex Smart court is on the front lines. And he joins us live on the fall analysis has been a battle that we've been hearing about for days if not weeks it's been several weeks in the making. Well month in fact Condace good morning US and the Iraqi prime minister cannot just report to AM local time to announce that this operation was being launched we are eyes deep set on the front lines with Kurdish fresh murder forces they are somewhat beat. 30000 Iraqi forces that are making up the BB port and its surrounding Mosul in order to take it back this and the second biggest city in Iraq. It has something of a lack. Stand for this and their biggest cry that they that they had been reports he once it and Wendy would that mean they will no longer had any sort of foothold in Iraq to the Swedish huge. Operation it could take weeks it could take months those 30000 courses that I mentioned are being back our international coalition including American Orton back. Just this morning. Right now in fact I'm looking at detachment of American forces that are acting up those Iraqi forces helping them choose and target. I do. The position down in the value so the last twelve hours more Latin. We've been watching these Kurdish forces firing artillery rockets. And watered down on the ice operation below and ended hope to make their bent toward the city of Mosul. An outfit well to gauge the progress. From where you are in terms of how this operation is going and how important is it. Not only strategically but symbolically. It is really hard to say I was going right now they're obviously it's been slow when it when it comes to battle. On the war a couple of hours there there were at a lot of gunfire a lot of rocket fire lot of mortars being fired. Now it has pulled down a little bit while looking out. From hot and elevated position in this bill is a flat plane in annual. What's or another reason that it's hard adult I would going is that there's a lot of smoke between air strikes. The artillery and and you have I been burning oil and and hires to create massive plumes of black smoke it very TV so it's kind of it's very hard. That say how the battle going now keep in mind you have those 30000 forces backed up by the American troops inside muscle you'll we have an estimated. 6000. Crisis forces so the question now is. Whether they wolf. See this. As an all out battle and the city or whether there will actually cut and run. And give up on Iraq and across the border and had back in into Syria where they still are occupied a large swath of territory. Can the US Defense Secretary asked Carter calls this does the decisive moment there in the history of Iraq we're gonna see how it all plays out exists Alex Marquardt. Five on the front lines there and we'll have a live report later on on GMA thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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