In the now week-long battle for the strategic city of Mosul, the United States and coalition partners have pounded jihadist fighters with more targeted airstrikes than ever before.
But ISIS combatants will not be easily dislodged.
Those who’ve fled ISIS-controlled areas describe a reign of terror, including public executions that are mandatory viewing. Many forms of Western dress are prohibited, as is smoking, playing soccer and most cell phone use.
Another aspect of daily life for civilians stuck in ISIS territory: Boredom. Serious boredom.
That’s what National Geographic’s James Verini found.
He’s spoken with Iraqis who once lived on ISIS-controlled land. He tells their stories in his recent piece for the magazine, “Surviving the Fall of ISIS.”
“The signal feature of life under ISIS, after constant fear, is constant boredom,” Verini says.