As the battle to retake Mosul draws closer, several military groups are jockeying for position: Kurdish Peshmerga forces, Iraqi army, Shia militias, local militias, and U.S. military advisors. Each group has its own interests, its own history, its own view of the future of Iraq.
In this project, Jane Ferguson reports for the PBS NewsHour on how these groups will interact and on what may befall residents displaced during the fighting.
She also looks at the inclusion of Shia militias in re-taking Sunni cities like Ramadi and Fallujah. Funded and organized by Iran, they represent the awkward alliance America has to make in order to fight ISIS.
Finally, Ferguson will look at Fallujah after ISIS. Life will still hold many challenges for Iraqis returning to their home cities. Local populations initially welcomed ISIS because they accused the Shia-dominated central government of discriminating against them.
How can the Iraqi government prevent further sectarian violence from returning? The story focuses on ordinary people and their attempts to get on with life after ISIS, while many of their sons and husbands remain in detention centers and the war heads to Mosul.