It was after dark Wednesday when three buses pulled out of Mosul and headed southeast on a desolate desert road. The passengers were government-backed paramilitary fighters.
The city lights were well behind them when the convoy came under attack. By the time the shooting stopped, six paramilitary members were dead and 31 wounded.
The attack, one of the deadliest since Iraq declared military victory over the extremist group in December 2017, was the clearest sign yet that the war isn’t over.