Iraq: Mosul remains in ruins three years on after liberation

The north-Iraqi city of Mosul was seen still in a state of ruin on Friday, three years after former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the official liberation of the city from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) in July 2017. Drone footage soaring over the destroyed cityscape shows most of the buildings still in need of total repair, while debris remained piled on collapsed structures and on the streets. Some families are attempting to build new lives amidst the ruins, and could be seen moving about the destroyed streets of the city. Some complained about the government's efforts to rebuild the city so far. «We have not received any reimbursement , and nobody from the government paid us a visit. The government seizes compensation (stealing it),» said one local woman. Another local man echoed her remarks, saying «The houses were demolished three years ago, however no official came to check our status. We want to thank the military Engineering Unit, which has cleaned our houses and lifted the debris, noting that it was the only help we got. We have not seen any official from the local government. Also, we haven't receive any reimbursement yet , although we applied to the compensation department.'' Another man spoke of the struggles of attempting to continue to live in a ruined sector of the city, but lamented the lack of other options. «The circumstances around here are intolerable. Stinky smells are spreading due to filthiness and insects. My house is inhabitable, but I can't afford renting a more expensive home, however, we say praise to God, anyway,» he said. Mosul was captured by IS forces in June 2014, and Iraqi government forces recaptured the city in July 2017 after a nine-month battle. The heaviest fighting took place in the Old City, leaving many buildings, including its ancient churches and monasteries, in ruins.

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