A white cloud is rising over this part of Mosul.
We’re at a warehouse inside the Mosul city limits, just a few miles from the front lines. Trucks are parked out front, but I can barely see them through the white haze. Our eyes are burning from it. People are coughing because of it.
But everyone is thrilled by it.
More families are expected to return to eastern Aleppo in the coming days, according to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The question is: what will they find?
Up to 4 million people in and around Damascus, the Syrian capital, have gone without water for a week. But this terror attack and resulting crisis have barely registered in the international media.
This week, hundreds of Christians in northern Iraq celebrated Christmas in their own churches, for the first time in years.
Back in 2014, ISIS swept across the Nineveh plains, capturing town after town—including some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. ISIS persecution targeted Christians, Yazidis, Muslims, and others. No one was safe.
“I don’t care if mortars are falling all around us. We are getting these families food.”
That’s what we told the delivery team lead on our last trip to Mosul. After everything we’ve seen in Iraq and Syria over the past few years, there isn’t a lot that shocks us anymore.
But the living conditions of the families in this school, just a few miles from ISIS, did. I’d never seen anything like this, not after nearly six years of living and working in Iraq.
At Christmas, we tell the story of a Middle Eastern refugee who was born in a stable, whose family was then driven from their home by violence.
But we don’t just tell this story. We are seeing it play out again before our eyes.
On the outskirts of Mosul the other day, in a town just liberated from ISIS, we met thousands of Middle Eastern refugees… and we met them in a stable.
The Syrian army announced today that it has taken full control of Aleppo. This news came after 34,000 people still trapped in parts of the city were finally evacuated. Rebel forces held eastern Aleppo for over four years.
Here’s what you need to know about our response in Syria, in light of today’s breaking news...