In a heart-wrenching piece of footage from Mosul, Iraq, an Iraqi soldier named Saad is filmed as he discovers his mom on a bus transporting civilians out of the war-torn city. Upon seeing her, the soldier breaks down in tears and embraces his mom.
Saad left Mosul two years ago and hasn't seen anyone from his family since then. Now that Iraqi forces are moving in to retake the city from ISIS, he heard that his family was in a line of buses nearby. He immediately ran to to see if the report was real. The BBC caught the entire thing on tape.
"Don't cry my son. You shouldn't cry," the mother says in the video. "Let me smell you, my dear. I missed you."
As the two embraced, hugging and kissing, other members of the family smiled, cried and laughed, assuring him that they were all around him.
More than 54,000 people have fled Mosul as a result of the new operation to retake the city from ISIS, many of them bused out like Saad's family. Some are now being sheltered in U.N. camps nearby. In four weeks, Iraqi forces have taken back more than a third of eastern Mosul. It marks important progress in a long battle.
"It's a very hard fight so I don't think further progress at this rate is inevitable," Van Heuvelen said. "But so far they are doing better than anyone could have hoped."
You can watch footage of the two reuniting below.