The Iraqi advance on ISIS in western Mosul has fought through ambushes and poor weather to reach the the Old City — site of the mosque where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared ISIS' "caliphate" in 2014 — in the weeks since operations against that part of the city began on February 19.
Throughout the operation, US-led coalition airstrikes have supported Iraqi troops on the ground.
In footage below, provided by the US Defense Department, an airstrike knocks out a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device — a weapon the terror group has turned to more and more as its arsenal and space to operate shrink.
The March 7 strike was one of 12 in Iraq that day, amounting to 75 engagements in total. Six of those strikes took place near Mosul, targeting five ISIS tactical units, nine fighting positions, mortars, vehicles, an unmanned-aerial-vehicle launch site, a building, and machine-gun and sniper positions.
The airstrikes also destroyed three VBIEDs in total and two VBIED factories. The terror group has deployed numerous VBIEDs throughout the Mosul campaign, which started on the east side of the city in mid-October.
ISIS fighters have, of late, made greater use of light SUVs produced by Kia and Hyundai, crudely welding armor plating to the front and sides painting them, usually to disguise their true purpose.
Iraqi commanders on the ground have said that the terror group's reliance on car bombs indicates the tide is turning.
"We are advancing toward the Old City. Their resistance is weakening," Iraqi federal police commander Gen. Khalid al-Obedi told Reuters on the frontline. "They are mostly using car bombs, and that shows they are losing on the ground."
US artillery gunners and helicopter pilots have said they take pains to ensure their munitions don't strike civilians, with all missions approved by senior officers.
"They were human shields for the jihadists," said Khalaf, a man whose family was taken by ISIS fighters during a retreat. "A plane came. There was a strike," he told AFP.
"I've lost my two brothers, my nephew, my cousins ... a whole family — 21 people," he said.