I’ve come to Iraq to spent two weeks volunteering at a Trauma Stabilization Point, just two kilometres from the front line in West Mosul, Iraq, where ISIS has held hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians hostage for three years.
Eight months ago the Iraqi military, joined by Coalition forces, including Canada, began an all-out assault. They were expecting it to take just weeks to flush ISIS out, but it has dragged on for eight bloody months. Thousands of civilians have died, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their home.
I’m volunteering with an NGO called Global Response Management, led by Pete Reed, along with two medics, my partner Dr. Mel Brecknell, and a paramedic from the United States, Chris Tompkins.
The drive from Erbil to West Mosul should take only an hour. But the bridges have all been blown up, so the drive takes about three and a half hours. I have been asked to wear a stethoscope around my neck to make it easier to get through the 27 military checkpoints along the way.
Here is some video from a very surreal road trip into a war-zone. Our final destination: A former ISIS mosque that has been turned into a medical clinic to treat civilians, soldiers and even ISIS fighters who have been injured in the battle.
That video can be seen below. Further updates from my time in Iraq will be posted here.
Two Kilometres to Terror: Life and Death Under ISIS, a one-hour documentary from reporter Avery Haines, airs Sunday July 9 at 10 p.m. on CityNews stations across the country.