The battle of Mosul began exactly three years ago this month. Iraqi government forces and allied Kurdish militias with backing from the United States and other key international partners sought to re-take Mosul from ISIS, which captured the city two years earlier.
Mosul is the second most populous city in Iraq. The fighting that ensued was the most intense urban warfare since World War Two. tThe liberating forces went neighborhood to neighborhood, house to house, to recapture territory.
It took nearly a year, but eventually ISIS was evicted from Mosul in the summer of 2017.
In a new book, the journalist James Verini embedded himself with the liberating forces and the civilians displaced by the fighting. He witnessed the fighting and its impact first-hand which he masterfully recounts in his new book: They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate.
On the podcast James Verini discusses the significance of this battle to both the fight against ISIS and the overall politics of the region. We kick off discussing the long history of Mosul and events leading up to its capture by ISIS and eventual liberation by Iraqi and allied forces.