Editor's note: Names have been changed to protect identities.

Depictions of terror attacks, military operations and humanitarian crises in relation to the Islamic State (IS) continue to be on the forefront on many people's minds, but the impact the group has had on people who have lived under the terror group’s rule isn’t always apparent.

Abdul, a Ball State professor from Iraq, came face to face with ISIS after the terror group took control of his hometown of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in 2014.

In October 2016 coalition forces began an offensive to recapture Mosul, and today the city as a whole is on the verge of being liberated after seven months of fighting.

RELATED: Escaping Islamic State group: How a Ball State Professor and his family survived

In October 2016 coalition forces began an offensive to recapture Mosul, and today the city as a whole is on the verge of being liberated after seven months of fighting.

The fight against ISIS has continued to affect their lives due to the fact that they have several family members trapped in the middle of the operation to retake the city.

The Ball State professor and his family use Facebook pages created by people in the city to keep updated on what’s happening.

"Due to lack of government coverage [and] international coverage they have established these Facebook pages and [people] communicate via comments," Abdul said.

This is all possible due to phone carriers in the country enabling basic Internet services for applications like Facebook.

Abdul has kept in contact with several members of his family through Facebook, but it’s not always easy.

The death of loved ones

At one point Abdul asked one of his friends, who he knew during his time as a professor at the University of Mosul, if he could go and check on his sister Noora and her family who lived in the western part of Mosul. Abdul’s friend ended up agreeing.

"I know it was so dangerous because of mortar shells and airstrikes and just so many threats,” Abdul said.

The next day his friend from the university texted the Ball State professor and said “you know what Abdul, you made me cry.”

After his friend found Noora and told them that Abdul and his family were worried about them her, her family broke out in tears.

"Your sister was so happy that across the oceans and across the continents that you worried about her," Abdul’s friend said.

When the Ball State professor saw the message from his friend, he started crying and said “for some reason I felt it, I knew it, I'm not going to see Noora and her family again."

On April 5 Abdul was working at Ball State when he had a sudden feeling that something wasn’t quite right.

“I was working on the computer and every time I was trying to type simple sentences I kept messing things up," he said. "I told Fatima (Abdul’s wife) I didn't know what was going on."

Minutes later Abdul’s brother and a couple of his family members call him to let him know that his sister Noora, her husband, and their 22-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter were killed in a coalition airstrike.

Abdul was put in a state of shock and there was nothing he could do while he heard the shrieks and grief on the other side of the phone.

“Just imagine you have a very close immediate family and after midnight they die in an airstrike and the house is left to burn with them inside until dawn,” Abdul said, “Random people would just pick them out of the rubble or pieces of them, charred pieces of them and random people just bury them. My family didn't get the chance to grieve them, didn’t get the chance to see them, [and] didn’t get the chance to bury them."

After he received the news, Abdul took some days off work to grieve with his family. He said that Ball State “spared no effort to grieve with us and to alleviate our grieving.”

He felt a heartwarming sensation when colleagues, heads of departments and random people at the university sent messages of support and condolences.

"She was the last remaining immediate family under ISIS' control. She was the last one," Abdul said. "It's a deep wound. I don't believe it's going to heal, but the daily hassle and challenges can make us temporarily forget about it, but it will always be there."

The death of Noora was an instance where an immediate family member of Abul’s died, but several other members of his family have also been affected by the effort to weed out ISIS throughout the city.

Last week Abdul and his family received news that one of his uncles was killed.

His uncle’s neighborhood was liberated and the Iraqi army ordered an evacuation. While his uncle was walking towards the army to get to safety, an ISIS sniper shot and killed him.

Life under ISIS

Most of Abdul’s extended family lived in the western part of Mosul.

Throughout the operation ISIS has been slowly pushed out of the city with the group now controlling around eight square kilometers of western Mosul, which includes dense neighborhoods according to ABC News.

Reports of suicide attacks, mortar strikes, drones dropping grenades and the use of civilians as human shields are tactics being used by IS in Mosul and attacks elsewhere in Iraq continue to be common.

"[IS has] this mentality that tells them since the residents of the city are not supportive of us they are infidels. Infidels are okay to be killed [in their mind including] children, women and old people," Abdul said. “They are following the scorched land policy. Since I'm leaving it I’m going to burn it to the ground."

A week ago he received several messages from his cousin Omar, who lives in the western part of Mosul, about life under IS.

A video that his cousin sent him depicted a group of people including a newborn baby walking away from their neighborhood towards the Iraqi Army who were standing on the edge of a rooftop.

His cousin told him that the he lived on tea and bread for weeks and often times furniture was burned in order to cook or heat up drinks. People ended up having to resort to other means of nutrition when food was scarce.

"He told me that weeds and grass [was] sold for 10,000 Iraqi dinars (around $8.50) on the west part of the city because people started eating it. It is sold in the market," the professor said.

Abdul said that his cousin Omar was left with an image of life that was “so dark and too grim and too graphic” after living in IS territory.

Omar told Abdul that he would be walking in the street and “all of a sudden a mortar would fall and a person would die, but I couldn't be there to the rescue. I have to run."

“That is how people start to scrub away their humanity, piece by piece,” Abdul said.

The future for Mosul

The city of Mosul lies in rubble as the operation to liberate the city nears its end, but the material damage isn’t what Abdul is worried about.

“It’s the breaking down of the human soul. It's just awful. When I talk to people there they lost their human touch, they lost any sense of connection with modernity, life, civility, anything," he said.

He feels like the “savagery and cruelty” that children in the city have been exposed to over the past three years will have a significant affect on them. Since IS took the city in 2014 children haven’t had access to education and have instead focused on surviving.

“If you want to build nations build an educated generation,” the Ball State professor said. “If you don't have that I mean destruction, poverty, ignorance, backwardness will simply perpetuate."

Abdul believes its going to be hard to vet IS members from non-IS people and he doesn’t have much trust in the security personnel within the city describing it as a “vicious circle of corruption.”

“We don’t have a regular army to take over, a regular systematic [and] unified army,” he said.

The operation to retake Mosul is made up a coalition providing air support with the Iraqi Army and militias from differing sects doing the the fighting on the ground.

Abdul thinks the militias in the offensive have agendas that they are trying to push and he is worried that these groups will push their influence on the people of Mosul whether they like it or not, just like IS did.

"The fear from ISIS will always be there because now even if other players in the arena in Mosul would [carry out a terror attack, commit crimes, etc.] you and I and everyone would simply blame it on ISIS,” Abdul said. "It's become an umbrella term. It's the waste basket of terrorism and people will buy it."

Fatima, Abdul’s wife, is worried about the affect the cruelty of the terror group will have on the children in the future.

“Spending three years with ISIS you know [they] kill people in the streets in front of the kids. Can you imagine what this kid's mentality [will be like]?” she said.

Fatima hopes to see Mosul go back to how it was in the past, but for now the future isn’t looking too bright in her opinion.

"I don't have any light at the end of the tunnel regarding Mosul," she said.