The Great Mosque of Mosul - with its iconic leaning minaret - appeared on one of Iraq's banknotes. Its destruction by the Islamic State is an act of great symbolic importance.
The sustained assault on IS's two main strongholds could be followed by years of local and global insurgency.
There are many obstacles to successful prosecution, including obtaining evidence in a war zone and using foreign intelligence in court.
The tragedy of Mosul is that while Islamic State's territorial project in Iraq is coming to an end, it is creating new problems that exacerbate the country's existing challenges.
Islamic State will change tack after Mosul, but Iraq isn't ready for what comes next.
What was supposed to be a glorious triumph for Iraq has turned into an exhausting war of attrition.
Even when ISIS is defeated, unless different groups can repair their relationship, violent extremism will remain, and peace in Iraq will stay elusive.
A victory in its second-biggest city would be a spectacular turnaround, but the country still has years or even decades of rebuilding ahead of it.
Could the Iraqi army's banner offensive against IS tear it apart?
Mesopotamia is known as the 'Cradle of Civilization'. We must not let it continue to be a cradle for genocide and terrorism.
Initially heralded as the beginning of the end for IS, the effort to take back Iraq's second city is flailing.
The humanitarian crisis in the Middle East is getting worse by the day. A survey of aid workers provides a glimpse into life on the ground, and clues to why the humanitarian sector is ailing.
Guerrilla tactics are hampering the advance into Iraq's northern capital.
The costly reconquest of the city will not significantly impact the group's transnational strategy
How far back in history does one have to go to find the roots of the so-called Islamic State? The first article in our series on the genesis of the terrorist outfit considers some fundamentals.