MOSUL, Iraq — The bunk beds that fill the rooms sleep more than 80 Islamic State recruits. On the walls, posters detail the components of Russian Kalashnikovs and American assault rifles. One sign reminds the trainees that victory comes from long fights and pain — rewards come later: “Remember that we didn’t come for this life, we came for the afterlife.” Spread across several large houses, the “Sheikh Abu Samaya Ansari Camp” was discovered this week by Iraqi forces as they pushed deeper into the northern city of Mosul, which Islamic State militants have been fighting bitterly to retain. It is the first military training center that the Iraqi forces have found in the city since they began an offensive to retake it just more than six weeks ago. Since then, the Islamic State’s grip on its most prized urban center in Iraq has slipped.
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