Silver / 2019 / Press / War

The fall of the Caliphate

  • Prize
    Silver in Press/War
  • Photographer
    Sam Tarling
  • Credit
    Sam Tarling

I was sent on a short assignment to interview and photograph the first civilians to leave the last ISIL outpost in northern Syria. The few thousand people thought to be living in Baghuz, a tiny village on the Euphrates near the Iraqi border, turned out to be tens of thousands, who streamed out almost daily, exhausted and malnourished, overwhelming the Kurdish forces tasked with taking them to safety. The short assignment transformed into a 45-day stake-out, as ISIL took it's last stand as a territory-holding power in Syria.

I am a freelance photo journalist based in the Middle East, covering the region for the past 10 years. My work has been featured by, among others, Time Magazine, Paris Match, Reuters, AFP, Getty Images, CNN, The Times, The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times' International Herald Tribune, Volkskrant, MSNBC, the Middle East editions of Esquire and Rolling Stone, Lebanon's Executive Magazine, Save The Children, CRS, Caritas and numerous leading daily papers around the world.