In June 2014, the world watched in shock as several thousand jihadis seized Mosul. When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the creation of the caliphate, the city of 2 million people became its capital and a symbol of the new order. Those who remained there found themselves at the mercy of a cruel regime, quickly learning that the change had nothing to do with the laws of the Qur’an – just plunder, fear and cruelty.
When the Iraqi army and police returned three years later to take back control of the city, the residents of Mosul found out reality can get even worse. Not only did they suffer from hunger and thirst, but they were also used as human shields. Those who tried to escape were met with snipers’ bullets and land mines.
After several months of pointless fighting, Mosul became a symbol once again – this time, a symbol of the fall of the Daesh caliphate.
[Warning - violent scenes inside]