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A man rides his bike on a street as smoke rises from burning oil fields in Qayara, some 50 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.  (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Iraqi forces battling ISIS have entered Mosul for the first time in 2 years

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And when we see them come together where there are significant numbers we will strike them and kill them.
Col. John Dorrian, referring to ISIS

Iraqi special forces have entered the outskirts of Mosul as the battle for one of ISIS's last strongholds continues.

This is the first time Iraqi troops have been in the city in two years. The battle is far from over, and retaking Mosul completely is expected to take weeks or months. 

Here's what the city looks like as the war rages on. 

Inconsistent progress

Inside the nearby village of Bazwaya, white flags still hung from some buildings, put up a day earlier by residents eager to show they wouldn't resist the Iraqi forces' advance. 

Forces have made inconsistent progress in closing on the city, with government troops to the south still 20 miles away. U.S. military estimates show ISIS has as many as 5,000 fighters in Mosul and up to 2,500 more in an outer ring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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