11 Jul. 2017
Iraqi Federal police celebrate in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, July 8, 2017. Ahmed Saad: "This is the first moment of Iraqi soldiers expressing their joy and relief at the end of a brutal, nearly nine-month-long battle in which they lost many of their comrades. I went to see the celebrations when we heard that combat operations had virtually ended and the announcement of final victory in Mosul was about to be made. The soldiers were shooting in the air. Photographers were worried about being hit by falling bullets so stayed in our body armour. But I was happy that we were about to rid this part of the country of Islamic State and citizens could finally return to their homes. Wearing bullet-proof vests and helmets in the searing mid-summer Iraqi heat is physically difficult but it's important to keep safety in mind. It's also difficult to communicate with the commanders to know what's happening. And the travel across rough, rocky desert to reach frontlines is also uncomfortable and there is a lot of waiting. The internet is also bad so it is frequently a struggle to file our pictures to the world in real time. All the same, I enjoy photographing military clashes because the pictures are powerful and expressive." REUTERS/Ahmed Saad/File photo SEARCH "MOSUL PICTURES" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.