VOA Special Report

Voices from Mosul

When Islamic State militants swept into Mosul in 2014, conditions in the northern Iraqi city were so bad some residents believed IS rule could bring stability and prosperity. Their hopes were quickly, brutally dashed. Now, nearly three years later, Iraq’s prime minister has declared victory. While it may still be some time until the last of the fighting is truly over, the key question may be will the Iraqi government do any better in the aftermath of victory than its foes, or will another extremist force – be it tribal, ethnic, or sectarian – once again gain the upper hand.  

Looking to Mosul's Future Amid Extreme Violence

As Iraqi forces poise themselves to win the battle for Mosul city in the coming days or weeks, some locals fear that when this war is over, rebuilding infrastructure will not be enough to end more than a decade of extremist brutality and build a lasting peace.

Under the Islamic State

The future

Revenge or Reconciliation — The Future of Mosul

Iraqi government has no detailed plans for post-IS Mosul, but will need to move fast

The history

The Pearl of the North Has Been Fought Over For Centuries

Tribes, races, religions and empires all fought in terrible cycles of conflict, revenge and retaliation

Islamic State in Mosul

A Reign of Terror in Mosul

Declaring a caliphate from the Grand Mosque was an act of subversion and audacity aimed at both the West and rival al-Qaida

Mapping the fight

June 2014: ISIS seizes Mosul

Oct. 2016 - May 2017: Coalition forces battle to reclaim Mosul

The long battle to reclaim Mosul

When the offensive to retake Mosul began in October 2016, Iraqi and coalition forces swiftly overran many IS-controlled towns and villages surrounding Mosul.  But in Iraq’s densely-populated second city, the battle was waged one neighborhood at a time as survivors hid in basements or fled.

Click through the maps to see the progress of the conflict, then click on the red pins to watch Heather Murdock’s frontline reporting.

Nov. 3, 2016

Map key

    VOA video reports from
    Heather Murdock

  • ISIS controlled
  • Contested neighborhood
  • ISF controlled
  • KDP-Peshmerga Control
  • Armored army unit
  • Mechanized army unit
  • Brigade
  • CTSCounter Terrorism Service
  • FPUnspecified Federal Police Unit
  • ERDEmergency Response Division
  • PMUIraqi Shi'a Militias
  • TBMTurkish-backed Sunni Militia
  • ISTAnti-ISIS Sunni Tribal Fighters
  • PESHPeshmerga