'Don't Serve Those People. They Were With ISIS.'

You can feel it in the air in this part of Mosul, the desperation. 

While we were here distributing food the other day, two conflicting realities played out before our eyes: Iraqi forces declaring victory in Mosul on the one hand, while on the other hand bombs continued to fall and ISIS continued continued to attack. 

Victory in Mosul? Four Things You Should Know

Iraq’s prime minister has visited the city of Mosul and declared victory after more than three years of ISIS rule here.

So now what?

'They're All ISIS'—West Mosul Families Who Stayed Become Targets of Suspicion

“We know they are all [ISIS] families. But what do we do, kill them all?”

Reading this quote from an Iraqi soldier stationed in Mosul’s Old City should have been jarring to me. But it wasn’t. Over the last few days, we’ve heard similar statements made by soldiers charged with clearing residents from the most recently liberated neighbourhoods of Mosul.

Feeding the Hungry, Healing the Sick: Your Love Across Iraq

The intense battle for Mosul continued to rage in June, and you continued to show up with emergency relief. But that’s not all you’re doing. You’re providing water and medical care in and around Mosul.

Here is a recap of what you made possible last month.

We Stood Where ISIS Declared Its ‘Caliphate.’ But it Was Nothing Like We Imagined.

This week we reached the site of the al-Nuri mosque, the historic 800-year-old monument in the heart of Mosul, where ISIS declared their caliphate in 2014. We waited years for this moment. So did the people of Mosul. But it was nothing like we imagined.

Mosul: If Their World Is Torn Apart, So Is mine

This is what "home" looks like for many families on the run from war.

ISIS is kicking people out of their homes and hiding fighters inside until security forces come to clear it.

Then ISIS blows up the house.

Mosul's Housing Crisis Means Families Can't Go Home

Despite the fact that ISIS has almost been pushed out of Mosul, life in the northern Iraqi city is far from normal. And for people fleeing the fighting in other parts of the city, or returning from displacement camps to find their homes destroyed, housing is one of the biggest problems.

The UN Is Cutting Aid for Displaced Iraqis

The battle for Mosul isn’t done yet, but help is already drying up for displaced families—especially for those who refuse to surrender their sovereignty by moving into the confines of a refugee camp.

According to Rudaw Media Network, UN food provision for displaced Iraqis not living in camps is about to be cut.

Inside Mosul's Old City: Your Love on the Frontlines

Yesterday we entered the Old City, one street away from the last pockets of ISIS resistance in Mosul. The destruction here is beyond anything I’ve seen.

President Trump Promised to 'Bomb the **** Out of ISIS,' and He’s Keeping His Word. Here’s the Cost.

We were in Mosul’s Old City over the weekend. The death and destruction are unfathomable. Dead bodies litter the streets. Officials estimate that up to 4,000 more may be trapped in the rubble of west Mosul. The majority of them are civilians—children, women, young and old people. Caught in a war that is not of their making.

An airstrike hit a few dozen meters away while we were filming an update at what remains of the al-Nuri mosque, where ISIS declared their so-called caliphate three years ago. You could hear the debris whizzing through the air. We got the tiniest taste of the terror, destruction, and carnage that people here have been living with for months.

Mosul: Don't Look Away

Please. Don't look away.

She was rescued from Mosul this week, where ISIS is still fighting with ruthless ferocity. Our ambulance driver took her to one of our medical clinics in west Mosul, where we're treating her.

President Trump's Travel Ban Is Now In Effect: 5 Things You Should Know

Update: On July 19th, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling by a lower court to expand the State Department’s definition of which “bona fide relationships” exempt people from the travel ban. As a result, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and grandchildren will be exempt, as well as sisters- and brothers-in-law. However, the court overturned another part of the ruling to that would have allowed refugees to enter the country if they already had a contract with a resettlement agency. This could impact as many as 24,000 refugees.

On June 29, a partial version of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban went into effect, after a Supreme Court ruling Monday cleared the way.

You may have questions. Here’s what we know.

Mission Accomplished? Iraq Is Claiming Victory in Mosul… But Wait.

Iraqi forces are claiming victory in the battle for Mosul today, after capturing what’s left of the al-Nuri mosque. Taking back the iconic site where ISIS declared its caliphate three years ago is a major symbolic victory, especially after more than eight months of fighting.

But hang on.

ISIS Is Using Starvation as a Weapon

WARNING: Unblurred graphic image below.

We thought we’d seen the worst of ISIS’s brutality. After they marked the homes of Christians in Mosul, after they sold Yazidi girls as sex slaves, after they blew up the al-Nuri mosque… what more could they do?

Then we met Mohammed, and we learned about ISIS’s newest tactic: weaponized starvation.

The Day Our Team Was Bombed Near Fallujah

“The first airstrike hit us. It was too close… we were running, running. We didn’t know what to do.”

It was supposed to be a normal aid delivery... if there was ever such a thing as “normal” in last year’s battle for Fallujah.

Her Hospitality Will Outlive Her

Faris’s mom died Saturday.

They buried her two days ago and I wasn’t there to say goodbye. They took her back up the mountain they call home in northern Iraq and laid her to rest in a place full of her greatest joys—and her greatest sorrow: being chased from her home by ISIS three years ago.

Redemption and Renovation in East Mosul

Usama (left) and Zaid (right) stand proudly in front of Zaid's newly renovated shop in east Mosul.

“Everywhere we go, everywhere we flee, everywhere we stay...we still feel like we are strangers. We are not in our home—the place that we loved and lived.”

We pick up Usama early in the morning, and he spends the day guiding us through east Mosul. The city is divided in half by the Tigris river, and while Iraqi forces are still actively fighting to defeat ISIS in west Mosul, the east side of the city was liberated in January and rebuilding is already underway. 

Imagine THIS Was All You Had to Feed Your Children - Survival Stories From Mosul’s Old City

We’re reaching families on the edge of Mosul’s Old City right now, as heavy fighting continues just a few streets away. The stories we’re hearing about life inside ISIS’s last stronghold in Mosul… they are harrowing beyond words.

The Battle for Mosul Has Reached a Critical Stage. What Happens Next?

We got some hard news from Iraq this week, when ISIS blew up one of the most important places of worship in Mosul, the al-Nuri mosque. Our friends in Mosul loved this place. It stood for nearly 800 years. But when Iraqi forces gave ISIS an ultimatum—surrender or be destroyed—they destroyed the mosque instead. 

The battle for Mosul has reached a critical stage. The Old City is ISIS’s last stronghold here, but it’s also one of the most densely populated parts of Mosul. More than 100,000+ people are believed to be trapped inside. The fighting here is intense. 

ISIS Doesn't Represent Islam. They Just Proved It.

Remains of the minaret at the al-Nuri mosque (source: ISIS propaganda video)

Iraqi forces told us they were “tens of meters” away when ISIS blew up the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul on June 21. ISIS’s media arm is trying to sell another version of events, alleging that a U.S. warplane leveled the mosque.

It’s not hard to see why ISIS is desperate to lay the blame as far from them as possible, despite all evidence to the contrary. They just destroyed one of the most beloved sites in all of Mosul—in all of Iraq, for that matter.

And they did so on what, for many Muslims, is the holiest night of the year.

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