Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates, and visual peacemaking through photography and film.

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ISIS Tried To Destroy This Church. They Failed.

by Matthew Willingham 02-22-2017

Image via Preemptive Love Coalition

We’re in a bombed-out church in the heart of Mosul, where ISIS had painted a giant black flag on the cross out front.

Where thousands of Christian homes were marked with the Arabic letter “N,” their lives threatened with the sword, their possessions looted, families ultimately driven out of their ancestral neighborhoods like cattle.

Here's What You're Not Being Told About Mosul

by Matthew Willingham 10-24-2016

Image courtesy Preemptive Love Coalition

With Mosul making headlines around the world this week, there are a lot of people tuned in to things here right now.

That said, from our vantage point on the ground and on the front lines of this crisis, there are a few things you might be hearing that aren’t quite right, or don’t tell the whole story — and we want to provide some clarity. They aren’t totally wrong, per se, but they’re off, and we think you deserve to know the full story.

The Battle For Mosul Has Begun: 5 Things You Need to Know

by Matthew Willingham 10-18-2016

Two unidentified peshmerga militia at Bashik base 25km from then ISIS-controlled Mosul in July. Owen_Holdaway /

The battle for Mosul has begun.

This is big. Mosul is big. This offensive will be really, really big. Mosul is the most populous city under ISIS control. It's their capital in Iraq.

6 Things You Need to Know About the Battle for Fallujah

by Matthew Willingham, by Ben Irwin 06-08-2016

Photo courtesy Preemptive Love Coalition

Today, a battle is underway to liberate Fallujah from ISIS. The humanitarian crisis is growing each day — with thousands of families trapped and running out of food.

Here are six things you need to know about Fallujah and where the situation rests today.