ISIS has long been an issue for not just the United States, but also for the rest of the world. There is no question that the extremist militant group is troubling and should be taken care of, but how does this violent war effect those who it is closest to? Not the militants, not the soldiers in this case, but the civilians in the cities staked out by ISIS, like Mosul. Mosul has been an ISIS stronghold for many years, and so it is a main target in airstrikes and advances against ISIS by Iraqi and American forces alike. However, this means that many Mosul civilians are caught in the crossfire. They flee their homes whenever they can in the midst of the raging battles, and many pass right by where bodies of militants are left. For many it seems as if they don’t even notice the corpses littering the streets, but children often stare at them. These children, who are losing their innocence and their childhood far too young, are a result of this fight. Civilians are being killed, by airstrikes and by ISIS using them as shields against fire.

There is no question that ISIS must be dealt with. There is no question that this feat will require great lengths. But how far is too far when it comes to areas like Mosul, where innocent civilians and children are being bombarded with airstrikes attempting to hit ISIS? Is there no better way to take care of the situation? Are we even helping the cities that have been taken over by ISIS, or are we just helping our own cause to dig out ISIS at whatever cost?