Debris on a road in Tikrit, April 1, 2015. Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Zack Beauchamp, VOX: This is what it's like when ISIS takes over your city

In early April, Iraqi forces retook the city of Tikrit from ISIS's control. While that was a major victory over ISIS, the operation came too late for many of Tikrit's residents. The militant group's rule had already devastated civilian life in the city — as this stunning piece by Zaid Al-Ali in the New York Review of Books shows.

By the time Iraqi forces liberated Tikrit, Al-Ali reports, the city's prewar population of 200,000 had been reduced to "a few hundred locals in the city, and few thousand in the surrounding countryside." It's easy to see why. Al-Ali's account of life in ISIS-occupied Tikrit depicts a parable of horrors, ranging from the total collapse of basic social services to brutal summary executions.

WNU Editor: I posted Zaid Al-Ali's story last week in a collection of commentaries on Iraq, but it does deserve to be read by itself. The link to the story is here .... Tikrit: Iraq’s Abandoned City (Zaid Al-Ali, New York Review Of Books).

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