In Iraq, a group of 300 commandos is preparing for a bloody fight against Islamic State (IS) to take back their beloved home city of Mosul.
By international standards, the Ninewa Operations Command's battalion would hardly be considered elite, but their Australian and New Zealand trainers are working hard to improve their fighting skills.
Many of these men still have relatives and loved ones living in the northern city of Mosul, which was overrun by IS militants in 2014.
"I would feel as any of the soldiers that left their families in Mosul under the control of Islamic State, will be very happy to defeat Islamic State and get back Mosul city," a Ninewa corporal says.
"We feel that the Islamic State group is not only a threat on Iraq, but also these surrounding countries. We feel that it's our job to defeat them because we think that they're pure evil, these guys."
The corporal and his comrades cannot be identified through fear of deadly retribution against their families at the hands of IS.
Their battalion flag depicts a hawk, a map of Iraq and Mosul's oldest mosque, the Great Mosque of al-Nuri.
It the same mosque where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi notoriously declared his caliphate.
Last month, Iraqi forces took back the much smaller Iraq city of Ramadi with coalition support, but Mosul is a more daunting prospect, and the Ninewa commandos will face some familiar dangers.
"When Islamic State leave or withdraw from an area they will fill the houses and the cars with IEDs and it won't be safe for civilians to come back so it's our job to dismantle the IEDs," a 27-year-old Ninewa Sergeant Major explains.
Their proud commander, who also cannot be identified, is confident his men are ready and is vowing to stay with his commandos to the very end.
"I'm very confident of my men, that they can defeat the enemy at any time," he says.
"They're very confident of their weapons now that they've trained and their morale is very high."
He says once his men liberate their city, they will plant the Australian and New Zealand flags alongside Iraq's.