We're in the Nivenah Province Joint Operations Command Center where Iraqi and American military officers are watching a drone feed closely. On screen, ISIS militants can be seen lined up, evenly spaced, against a bank.

This isn't the first time the Iraqi army has tried to retake the village of al-Nasr. Close to the Tigris river, the village is a vital step in the first phase of the operation to recapture Mosul from ISIS. "Look he's firing!" shouts General Najim al-Jobori, commander of the Nineveh operation, pointing to an ISIS fighter on the screen before barking orders in to his cell phone to the men on the frontline.

Seconds later, an airstrike hits close to the berm and the room erupts in cheers. As the smoke clears, the fighters appear immobile. But when the drone camera zooms out, dozens of suspected ISIS militants can be seen running around the village, darting in and out of buildings.