Ten airstrikes in Mosul allegedly killed over 70 civilians during the month of October, according to a non-profit that tracks airstrikes in the Middle East.

Charles Sennott, GBH news analyst and Founder and Executive Director of  The GroundTruth Project, joined Jim and Margery to talk about the civilian death toll in Mosul, saying criticism of casualties doesn’t account for the difficulty of the offensive.

“No one ever said Mosul was going to be easy,” he said. “[Iraqi forces] are making headway in Mosul.”

He also pointed out that the rise in the death toll was likely affected by more intense fighting. According to Sennott, ISIS has not failed to notice the tumult of the American political system, which may be inspiring them to increase force.

“The Islamic State gets it that President Obama is on his way out, and that if they can just step up the fight, they could have a fulfillment of their greatest fantasy, which is a President of the United States that will engage them as the true enemy in a big war,” said Sennott.

Donald Trump’s website says his administration will “pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS,” and he has said he would bomb ISIS-controlled oil fields.

ISIS’ use of social media has kept it in the headlines, as it recruits over Twitter and drums up enthusiasm from its constituents using videos of executions. Sennott also said ISIS is driven by a desire to preserve their importance on the global stage.

“I think they’re going to fight harder than ever to get into the Trump presidency,” Sennott said. “They want to stay, in their very perverse and dark way, relevant.”

To hear Charlie Sennott’s interview on BPR in its entirety, click on the audio link above.