The battle for the liberation of Mosul was slowed on its first day by a series of suicide attacks, fires and the homemade bombs that littered the roads and fields in the path of the advancing US-led coalition convoys. Black fumes from oil fires obscured the retreating Islamist fighters and their hideouts from air strikes. Some mingled with civilian inhabitants. Kurdish Peshmerga troops meanwhile combed through the surrounding villages street by street for hidden ISIS fighters. The huge, long-waited Mosul offensive is being carried out by a motley assortment of often rival fighting forces, as reported in DEBKAfile’s "Mosul assault – a militlary Tower of Babel.".