Battle Against the Islamic State: James Verini & Mark Danner

The Defeat of ISIS: Battle for Mosul

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World Affairs

In the summer of 2016 journalist James Verini arrived in Iraq to report on the struggle against ISIS and gain a better understanding of jihadist fighters in the region. At this point, the United States and coalition forces were starting their operations to liberate Mosul, a key stronghold for ISIS in Iraq. The city which once had over 2.5 million residents, many of whom fled by the time Verini arrived, was taken over by ISIS two years earlier beginning an era of mass executions, extreme violence and tyrannical religious rule. Over the next ten months, Verini reported from the region exposing himself first hand to extreme violence and meeting with those both fighting to reclaim the city as well as members of ISIS. The battle to free Mosul proved to be "the most significant urban combat since World War II," according to the Pentagon. It eventually led to the reclaiming of Mosul and the end of ISIS as we knew them. What remains of the Islamic State and of Mosul? What does the future look like for the city?

Verini investigates what led to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and goes behind the scenes as the group was defeated in his new book "They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate." Join us for a conversation with him the book and these questions.

The author will sign books at the end of the program. A limited number will be available for purchase at the event.


James Verini
Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic


Mark Danner
Former Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

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