Latest from David Patrikarakos
The Revolutionary Guards return the next day, dragging her to another cell where, in the corner, a group of men have gathered to watch. They cheer Raheem as he strikes her over and over. Among the onlookers is a man set slightly apart. He had been watching since the day before. Like the mother, he’s only 21, but he has an air of command: He has made all this happen; he knows that to make the prisoners talk you must torture them — even if they’re nine months pregnant.
The Islamic State may have been defeated in the field, but they have not been defeated in Iraq. What actually happened was that their fighters retreated from Mosul and Hawija, before slowly melting back into the Sunni Arab villages — and storing their weapons in the nearby caves — and prepared for war once again. What lies across from me are the most fanatical and hardcore: Those who have hung on, who refuse to surrender or flee. And they will stay there until they win or die.