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A constellation of warring factions have seemingly set aside deadly disputes to take part in one of Iraq’s toughest challenges yet — clearing ISIS out of its last major stronghold in the country.

A successful offensive to recapture Mosul could boost desperately needed national unity, restore the pride of an army that was humiliated when it fled ISIS in 2014 and rip the heart out of the group’s self-declared caliphate.

But the tinderbox coalition of anti-ISIS fighters that began its march on Iraq’s second-largest city earlier this month, as well as the combustible mix of the city’s ethnic and sectarian groups, risks triggering yet more bloodshed even after the jihadists have gone.

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Image: Iraqi forces targeting ISIS militants south of MosulIraqi forces targeting ISIS militants south of Mosul on Wednesday. STRINGER / Reuters

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http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-uncovered/defeating-isis-mosul-will-open-door-many-challenges-n673786

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