No sign of recovery for devastated Mosul after 5 months of freedom (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

An estimated 90 percent of Mosul was destroyed or significantly damaged during the nine-month siege by Iraqi forces supported by the US-led coalition. But in the months since its recapture from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), the city has mostly disappeared from public view in the West, sidelined by new stories. The people who live in the Iraqi city now feel abandoned and desperate, an RT crew discovered.

READ MORE: ‘Stench of countless decaying bodies everywhere’:  RT reports from Mosul months after victory

If you live in Mosul today, you most likely have to borrow money to feed your family, or scour the deadly ruins full of decomposing bodies and unexploded bombs for anything valuable to sell, such as scrap metal. A boy aged 11 told the RT crew that this was his daily task.

And Islamic State fighters, who have supposedly been ousted from the city, are still there, local security officials said. They may be disorganized and in hiding, but militia patrols prefer to walk with guns in their hands, cocked and ready to shoot – just in case.

“The world has forgotten Mosul. It’s out of fashion, no longer trending. And locals have a well-founded suspicion that this was never about saving them,” RT’s Murad Gazdiev reported.

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2,100 bodies of civilians discovered in aftermath of Mosul

[9/10/17/MEMO]  Since July, over 2,000 bodies have been excavated in the western part of Mosul, after the city was cleared from Daesh in June, an Iraqi official said on Friday.

Speaking to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, the civil defense official of Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, Saad Hamid, said that more than 2,100 civilian bodies were found under the ruins.

Hamid said that during their work the team faced “lack of equipment and various security problems such as Deash members firing from hide outs, bunkers, tunnels or basements”.

There are still nearly 400 to 500 bodies which need to be removed from the ruins which could take up to two months to finish the work, Hamid added.

In June, the Iraqi army retook the northern city of Mosul, regional capital of Nineveh province, from the terrorist group after a nine-month campaign.

In August, Daesh was driven from Nineveh’s Tal Afar district following a week long army operation.

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Iraqi special forces abused civilians during Mosul campaign, PM admits 

“The [investigation] committee has concluded … that clear abuses and violations were committed by members of [special forces unit] the ERD,” the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement, according to Reuters. The prime minister’s office added the perpetrators would face prosecution.

The Iraqi government launched an investigation in May after German magazine Spiegel published a news story that included disturbing images taken by a freelance photographer who accompanied the soldiers of the elite Emergency Response Division (ERD) unit on their way to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold Mosul.  

In the article, titled ‘Not heroes but monsters,’ Ali Arkady said he witnessed multiple instances of rape, torture and targeted killings by members of the ERD. He added the soldiers had persecuted numerous civilians on “vague” suspicions of links with IS. 

The publication included gruesome photos by Arkady of alleged IS sympathizers hanging from the ceiling with their arms cuffed behind their backs, as well as other obvious scenes of torture, abuse and degrading treatment.

Arkady had originally intended to come up with a favorable story glorifying Iraqi soldiers fighting Islamic State. As the ERD commanding officers came to trust Arkady, he was even allowed to document soldiers torturing civilians and forcing them into confessing to siding with IS – confessions he believed were utterly false.

READ MORE: Mosul torture exposed: Iraqi forces’ abuses filmed (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Victims were picked up during night raids, which in some cases included rape and looting, and taken to villages outside Mosul where there were no foreign journalists, the photographer said at the time. Many were brutalized and tortured to death, he said. To the photographer’s surprise, the soldiers felt free to exchange horrifying videos and photos of their victims. 

“The men that I accompanied had experienced hard, heavy fighting. But now they thought that they would be allowed to do everything and that murder and rape were halal and legitimate for them,” Arkady said.

According to Arkady, the elite unit was trained by US instructors. He said that one ERD soldier also boasted that he learned a torture technique from the Americans, which included cutting the victim with a knife behind the ear. The photographer wrote in Spiegel that “the Americans must have been aware of what has been happening” with the ERD unit.

While ERD commanders claim the report was fabricated and featured “unreal” images, Iraq’s Interior Ministry agree to probe the torture allegations. In late May, authorities promised “a clear and fair inquiry… [and] to take legal measures against those who are negligent if the investigation proves so,” the ministry said.

Iraqi forces’ long campaign to retake Mosul – once the country’s second-largest city – has been plagued by reports of abuse. Rights groups said disturbing news was coming from Mosul even during the final stages of fighting. Human Rights Watch reported in June that Iraqi troops abused unarmed men and boys fleeing the carnage, with some civilians being detained at checkpoints outside the city and taken away for execution. 

In mid-July, an execution site with 17 apparent victims of extrajudicial killings was found near the Old City of West Mosul, HRW reported. The find came amid reports of extrajudicial killings by Iraqi forces, the rights group pointed out. 

“As we well know, in Iraq, if the government doesn’t provide an accounting for these murders, the Iraqi people may take matters into their own hands,” Sarah Leah Whitson, a Middle East director at HRW, said at the time, calling upon Prime Minister al-Abadi to take “concrete steps to end the grotesque abuses by his own security forces.”

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Intel Officials: Civilian Deaths in US Coalition in Mosul, 66X Higher Than US Says—40,000 Dead


Searing new information reveals the months-long battle by the U.S.-led coalition to liberate Mosul, Iraq, from the self-described Islamic State left a catastrophic number of people dead — exponentially more than previously claimed in American and other Western mainstream press — in fact, Intelligence officials now say the operation took more than 40,000 civilians lives.

Astonishingly, the coalition insists just 603 civilians have been “unintentionally killed” during months of intense combat for Operation Inherent Resolve — at least 66 times fewer civilian casualties than what the new information claims.

Kurdish Intelligence officials speaking with the Independent note the bombings, airstrikes, artillery rockets, and other firepower — launched variously by the coalition, Iraqi government forces, and Daesh — killed scores more than the several hundred deaths officially attributed the operation by the Pentagon, and trounced even the estimation of 6,000 dead, proffered by military watchdog group, Airwars.

Former Iraq senior minister, Hoshyar Zebari, told the Independent an unknown number of bodies “are still buried under the rubble,” with conditions so bleak in the decimated city, the “level of human suffering is immense.”

“Kurdish intelligence believes that over 40,000 civilians have been killed as a result of massive firepower used against them,” he continued, “especially by the Federal Police, air strikes and Isis itself.”

According to the outlet,

“Mr Zebari, a native of Mosul and top Kurdish official who has served as the Iraqi Finance Minister and prior to that Foreign Minister, emphasised in an exclusive interview that the unrelenting artillery bombardment by units of the Federal Police, in practice a heavily armed military unit, had caused immense destruction and loss of life in west Mosul.”

If Zebari and the Kurdistan Regional Government are indeed correct — and, according to the Independent, the latter boasts a “reputation for being extremely accurate and well-informed” — then the scope and violence of the undertaking have been drastically if unsurprisingly misrepresented to the Western public.

Manipulation of the death count  — particularly that of the same innocents anti-Islamic State forces putatively sought to protect from militants — serves to maintain the vestiges of long-diminished public support for the U.S. agenda in Iraq by downplaying the war’s extensive impact on the families either uninvolved or victim to the conflict.

Having gained insight firsthand from his previous position, Zebari lambasted Baghdad for deliberately ignoring the suffering experienced by those left in Mosul, remarking, “Sometimes you might think the government is indifferent to what has happened.”

Similar to other areas in the Middle East on the receiving end of U.S. foreign policy, Mosul’s centuries-old record of tolerance and cooperation amongst a host of religious and ethnic minorities likely cannot endure governance of the Sunni Arab majority in power, Zebari explained, as Yazidis, Kurds, Christians, and others see them responsible for much of the misery, including rape and murder.

Indeed, the Iraqi city’s Sunni population continues to face a broad backlash for supporting Daesh throughout the terrorist group’s three-year occupation — since the liberation of Mosul, Iraq government forces have inflicted cruel and unforgiving punishments against former ISIL fighters.

Eagerly corrupt government officials facilitated travel through tightly-controlled military checkpoints for Daesh militants who should not have been provided safe, unencumbered passage, the former government official explained. Reports the Independent,

“Reading from Kurdish intelligence reports, Mr Zebari says that a high level of corruption among the Iraqi military forces occupying Mosul is undermining security measures to suppress Isis in the aftermath of its defeat. He says that suspect individuals are able to pass through military checkpoints by paying $1,000 (£770) and can bring a vehicle by paying $1,500. He says corruption of this type is particularly rife in the 16th and 9th Iraqi Army Divisions and the Tribal Volunteers (Hashd al-Ashairi), drawn in part from the Shabak minority in the Nineveh Plain.

“The ability of Isis militants to remain free or be released from detention by paying bribes has led to a change in attitude among people in Mosul whom Mr Zebari says ‘were previously willing to give information about Isis members to the Iraqi security forces.’”

Justifiably terrified fighters would be free to exact revenge against anyone bold enough to name names, Mosul’s war-weary residents instead opt to remain silent — this conundrum tacitly allowing ISIL “sleeper cells” to continue operating in Mosul without much fear of reprisal or punishment, and, as the Independent elaborates,

“A belief that Isis fighters and officials detained in Mosul are later able to bribe their way free explains why soldiers, most of whom are not complicit in bribery networks, have summarily executed Isis prisoners, sometimes by throwing them off high buildings.”

Although the Independent does not share with readers the Intelligence documents the outlet claims to have observed — making verification of figures as impossible as those sums touted by the Pentagon or White House — that Hoshyar Zebari allowed use of his name provides more credence than typically vague propaganda-laced reports emanating from the U.S. government.

Recovery from war, the occupation of Daesh, and yet more war will undoubtedly hinder speedy recovery for the city; but, despite official declarations Mosul has been cleansed of the last terrorist holdouts, militants still lurk surreptitiously and in the skeletons of crumbling structures.

Beyond the torment and squalor in the wake of liberation, Zebari — who grew up in Mosul — opined the self-described caliphate’s annihilation of historic city’s architectural and religious gems, noting wistfully, “the soul of Mosul has gone and its iconic buildings are destroyed.”

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Mosul Terror-Bombed to Rubble

Mosul Terror-Bombed to Rubble

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

When America attacks another nation, international, constitutional and US statute laws of war are discarded with imperial arrogance.

They’re for other countries, not the USA, its rules alone followed. The devastating result is always the same. 

Wherever the self-styled “indispensable nation” shows up, mass slaughter, horrendous destruction, utter chaos, and appalling human misery follow.

The battle for Mosul will long be remembered by truth-telling historians and analysts as one of history’s great crimes. Iraq’s long ago thriving second largest city of 1.7 million people was turned to smoldering rubble.

Thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of defenseless civilians were indiscriminately massacred – largely by US-led terror-bombing, leveling residential areas and vital infrastructure, the city turned into a moonscape.

UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande explained when the battle for Mosul began last October, US-led coalition and Iraqi forces “committed to a humanitarian concept of operations, which puts civilian protection at the center of their battle plan. They committed to do everything possible in order to ensure civilians were protected during the fighting.”

Instead, indiscriminate mass slaughter and destruction took place throughout months of conflict.

In February 1968, AP foreign correspondent Peter Arnett said the following about the battle for Ben Tre:

“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” quoting a US military officer. “He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.”

The same applies to numerous other US offensives, including the battle for Mosul. The shocking disregard for human lives and welfare defines all US wars – aggressive ones of choice post-WW II in all cases, never for self-defense, humanitarian intervention and democracy building as falsely claimed.

Two surprising neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post articles discussed the utter devastation of months of war on Mosul. 

Maybe Langley was gloating, taking a victory lap, using WaPo to explain the destructive power of America’s military.

One article headlined “How war ravaged the city of Mosul in satellite images,” saying they “show how the conflict has turned a once lively city into rubble.”

Pre-and-post-battle images are stunning – the former taken in November 2015, the latter on July 8. It’s hard comprehending they’re from the same locations in the same city.

They bear testimony to US imperial viciousness. They show high crimes of war and against humanity on an unimaginable scale. 

Destroyed areas look like a nuking aftermath. On the ground, no signs of life are visible – residential areas, hospitals, bridges and other infrastructure leveled.

A second article headlined “After Daesh defeat, a daunting search for bodies in the rubble of Mosul,” saying:

“The streets of Mosul’s Old City are littered with bodies, tangled between shattered stones and remnants of the lives they left behind.”

“In the baking summer heat, exhausted rescue crews are now sifting through the debris of the toughest battle against Daesh, also known as ISIS, in what became its final redoubt in the city.”

“As Iraqi ground troops, US-led coalition jets and Daesh militants pulverized the Old City’s winding maze of streets last week, thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire.’

“(T)he area is now deserted. (A)ll that remains in the Old City is rubble and unknown (numbers) of bodies” – many thousands massacred indiscriminately, largely defenseless civilians, mostly women and children.

Last fall, Washington redeployed thousands of ISIS fighters from Mosul to Syria. It’s unknown how many remained to draw out months of fighting.

Hundreds of corpses already were found “suffocated under the ruins of their homes,” said WaPo. Other bodies so far lie rotting in streets turned into open-air graves.

Mangled and charred bodies are unrecognizable. In dozens of interviews with survivors, WaPo reporters found no one who hadn’t lost a relative or friend.

All US war theaters bear testimony to its might makes right way of operating. Imperial aims alone matter, nothing else.

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Amid the rubble of Mosul, bitter memories and the stench of death

MOSUL, Iraq — Bodies of dead Islamic State fighters still lay in the streets of west Mosul. Severed limbs from corpses were burnt, charred and strewn among the rubble of destroyed houses. The stench of death, a mixture of bodily waste and rotting flesh, mingled with the smell of garbage that hung in the air. The only way to cope with the nausea was to avoid deep breaths and take small sips of flavored sodium water from a plastic bottle that was melting in the broiling sun. But the stench was not the only thing the dead ISIS fighters left behind.

As Iraqi forces extend their control over the city, killing or chasing away remaining ISIS fighters, they encounter reminders of the regime imposed by the militant cleric Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who declared a new Islamic caliphate at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri. Meant to be a new era and empire, it has fallen in just three years. Al-Baghdadi himself has been reported killed, although his death has not been confirmed.

The ISIS fighters have continued to resist even after the battle was lost, rocking the city with explosions that shattered ancient structures and sent debris flying to land in heaps on the streets.

Iraqi forces listening in on ISIS radio transmissions heard signs of dissent and chaos in the ranks. The militants argued over which brigade had more men, who was most badly injured and whom they should leave behind. Their injuries went largely unattended and open to infection. They were weak, their morale low, and Iraqi forces knew they could take advantage of their weaknesses.

Wahlid, an Iraqi special-forces soldier, told me, “They’re fighting their hardest,” then he added, “but among themselves they have disputes.”

Radio used by Iraqi special forces to listen to ISISRadio used by Iraqi special forces to listen to ISIS

In a dimly lit room in a house near the front lines used as a base by Iraqi special forces, Wahlid told stories about listening to ISIS. The air conditioning was on full blast inside the house. He sat on a couch, drinking energy drinks and smoking cigarettes. An old walkie-talkie on an end table next to him crackled with voices chattering back and forth. An Iraqi commander shouted, “Get the Humvees out; find a safe place.” ISIS had coordinates for Iraqi soldiers in another neighborhood, and he was telling them to move before ISIS attacked.

Related slideshow: In Mosul, the war is never over, even when the shooting stops >>>

Wahlid laughed and with a smirk told what he considered a humorous story about an ISIS suicide bomber stranded in his explosive-filled car in the middle of the road. “The [Iraqi] soldiers shot at him,” Wahlid said. “His car broke down, he pressed the button and it didn’t work. So the militant who was in the car called on the radio back to the other [ISIS] militants, telling them, ‘The infidels broke down my car, but I can’t make it explode, I cannot blow it up because the button does not work. If you have any other way, brothers, blow it up, I want to blow up the car on the infidels.’”

Iraqi forces called for an airstrike. The car blew up.

ISIS fighters left behind a legacy of self-inflicted martyrdom, expecting rewards in heaven if they died fighting their alleged enemies. They saw themselves as heroes. The world did not agree.

Many came from other countries, tens of thousands of them who left behind a life they knew for a desert they didn’t know. Perhaps some of them left their homes for money, or a chance to be part of history. But the history they created is still desperate to leave them behind.

Many times, soldiers on the front lines admitted they couldn’t understand the ISIS fighters. They spoke different languages. Troops reported chatter in what they thought was Russian, Turkish and an Eastern language they couldn’t identify. One of the soldiers from the Najaf battalion, Rami, said that he was ethnically Turkmen and that sometimes he could understand the Turkish ISIS fighters.

The fighters also left behind their identities and documents. An Iraqi soldier said that while fighting at the front line, he noticed a woman in a black robe and hijab, a scarf around her head. He caught her eye. “I waved for her to run toward me,” he said.

He thought she was a civilian trying to escape. But when she moved along the wall in front of her house, he realized she was hiding an M-16 beneath her clothes. She realized she was exposed and fled. The soldier said she got away. He never said why he didn’t shoot.

But when he approached the house later, he found her identification. She had a German name on a German ID card. He also found a marriage certificate, issued by ISIS. She was married to a Russian fighter. What they left behind was a marriage that would never be recognized anywhere else. ISIS created its own system, its own contracts, records that are meaningless to a world that would never recognize the Islamic State.

ISIS had its own religious police, too, and “punishment officers,” who would correct or even arrest civilians who didn’t follow their rules and laws. One member of ISIS left his officer’s vest in the streets.

And when they fled, ISIS fighters left behind their weapons. Iraqi soldiers picked up weapons throughout the fight, some made in ISIS bomb factories, including mortars and rockets, and old Soviet-era rocket-propelled grenades that ISIS modified and improved. If the weapons were functional, Iraqis repurposed them and killed ISIS fighters with their own weapons. Wahlid demonstrated an RPG-7. “They have made some updates to it,” he said. “They’ve mixed the powder, and the wings [they added] will make it fly.”

Mortars left by ISISMortars left by ISIS

Some ISIS rebels weren’t killed by Iraqi forces or their own weapons but instead were caught and arrested. They were sent to intelligence battalions to be interrogated. At a small base on the outskirts of Mosul’s Old City, Iraqi intelligence officers allowed foreign journalists limited access to several suspects in custody. Bearded, with zip ties around their hands, the captured fighters were ushered back and forth between rooms. Some of the men’s eyes looked young, some old, but all seemed worn out and solemn. An intelligence officer pointed to one man and said he “knew” the man was ISIS because he had “confessed.”

But of all that ISIS left behind, most of all the armed group left Iraqi citizens grieving, even those who sympathized with the Sunni-linked fighters as a way to resist what they saw as an oppressive Shia-majority government. Even they had turned against ISIS, after three years of living under its governance.

The civilians who fled left behind everything they owned. They left behind loved ones whom they will never get to bury. They left photos of their mothers and fathers, taken in the days before the war and occupation.

Photos left behind in the Old City of Mosul, IraqPhotos left behind in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq

Shoes, scarves, T-shirts and dresses littered the streets. White flags still hung on the doors. Families believed that if they hung white cloth on their doors they might be safe. The Iraqi soldiers assured the people of Mosul that the white flags would signal they were on the government side and against ISIS. The civilians didn’t want to be arrested or questioned; they wanted to escape. But as the city grew more dangerous, the white flags were not enough to save them. A new order came down from the Iraqi forces: run.

So they ran. And they left their flags behind, hung from the ruins of their devastated city, once a thriving metropolis in the very cradle of civilization.

Ash Gallagher is a journalist covering the Mideast for Yahoo News.


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Turkey Congratulates Iraq On Victory Over Israeli U.S. ISIS in Mosul

Iraqi Military Liberates Iraq From U.S. Israeli ISIS 7/11/2017

The Syrian government congratulated Iraq on the full liberation of the city of Mosul from Daesh terrorist group, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.

“Syrian leadership congratulates the Iraqi people and their government on great victory over ISIS [Daesh], which was achieved by the Iraqi army and militias in Mosul,” the ministry was quoted as saying by Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The ministry added that the Syrian government stood in solidarity with the Iraqi people and armed forces and was determined to continue the joint fight against Daesh and any other form of terrorism in order to prevent its spreading in the region.

“The defeat of ISIS in Mosul is a prelude to a defeat of everyone who founded, armed and supported them,” the communique said.

  1. Iraq To Sue US Government For 2003 Illegal Invasion

In 2014, Daesh captured vast territories in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of a caliphate in the seized areas. Mosul has served as Daesh’s so-called capital in Iraq since then. The Iraqi operation to liberate the city began in October 2016. In June, 2017, the Iraqi command announced the beginning of an offensive on the last fortifications of Daesh in the historical part of Mosul. The operation involved special troops, federal police, rapid reaction forces and the armed forces of Iraq.

On June 29, Abadi declared the recapture of Al Nuri Grand Mosque in Mosul, where the creation of the so-called Islamic caliphate was first announced by the Daesh leader in 2014. Abadi claimed it was the end to the organization’s existence. The same day, US-led coalition’s spokesman Ryan Dillon said the full liberation of the city might be achieved within days.


Riding The Train In Kurdistan, Iraq

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ISIS, driven out of Mosul, leaves behind a city in ruins and a society shattered by distrust

MOSUL, Iraq — Proclaiming victory over the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi went to the city Sunday and Monday to congratulate Iraqi forces for their battle “victories” and accomplishing their mission in West Mosul, calling them “heroic.” He described Mosul as “liberated,” and his presence was meant to invoke a sense of freedom, a declaration that Mosul was rid of the violent occupation.

While he was congratulating the Federal Police outside Mosul’s Old City on Sunday, inside it, there was an airstrike around 100 meters away near the site of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri. The mosque, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the rise of an ISIS caliphate in 2014, was blown up nearly two weeks ago.

The aircraft could be heard overhead. Suddenly there was a swish sound in the sky, and then a loud bang. Plumes of smoke rose over the Old City neighborhood and evaporated into the air.

The Iraqi Special Forces and counter terrorism battalions fought ISIS every day for nine months, battling snipers, suicide bombers and mortar attacks. They say a few may still be hiding in the heavily damaged city.

On the front line, one commander who did not give his name sat on a bed listening to his men over a radio. They called out their positions, and then when they killed an ISIS fighter, they’d say, “Victory is ours.” But the joyous moment was gone when another soldier reported one their own was shot dead.

At another corner of the Old City’s narrow streets, ISIS snipers exchanged fire with Iraqi forces. A soldier injured in the chest and leg was rushed on a stretcher to an ambulance. Journalists were asked not to photograph him; soldiers make efforts not to show any weakness.

The Iraqi forces have been fighting hard to recapture Mosul in an offensive that began last October. They started on the eastern side of the city and took that section in 100 days. Retaking the densely populated western part with its narrow streets has been slower.

Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, was an ISIS stronghold. The city has a rich history dating back to the beginnings of recorded civilization, the site of struggles among empires and religions.

In June 2014, a suicide bomber struck in the city, followed the next day by convoys of ISIS fighters who drove out the Iraqi government forces and imposed their strict rule on the population of some 3 million. Curfews were enforced; members of opposing forces trapped in the city were hanged; oil refineries were confiscated. Many civilians fled.

Sunni and Shia branches of Islam have long been in conflict, which played out in violent clashes in Iraq in 2006. ISIS grew out of the Sunni branch. Under its rule, Shia Muslims and members of other religions who did not convert risked imprisonment or even death.

The operation to retake Mosul has been a success, but it has come at a heavy price of destruction and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, especially from West Mosul. At the start of the operation, Iraqi government forces encouraged civilians to stay in their homes, to raise white flags or to even help fight ISIS. But as the violence increased and ISIS resorted to tactics such as suicide and car bombings, the government switched its approach and created safe corridors to get as many people out as possible. Among the houses that had been bombed into rubble, the booby traps and IEDs in the streets, civilians trying to escape risked being shot by snipers if they were seen.

And amid growing concern that ISIS may have left behind sleeper cells or disguised its fighters among the innocent civilians, Iraqi troops have had to impose more rigorous screening of the massive waves of displaced people on the move in and out of Mosul.

Soldiers told Yahoo News that some of the civilians escaping were turning in their own family members — pointing to brothers, husbands, children or cousins as fighters for ISIS.

Near the base that hosts one of Iraq’s counterterrorism units, a flood of displaced people came around a small hill that leads to the Old City. People fleeing from the fight, mostly women and children, made their way toward security forces, who questioned them and checked them for hidden explosives.

Two women approached with toddlers who had light-colored eyes and whose pale skin didn’t match their mother’s complexion. They looked eastern European, and the Iraqi soldiers demanded to know who their mothers really were. They women said they were. The soldiers asked about the identity of the fathers. The women didn’t answer. Since they appeared to be unarmed, the Iraqi soldiers let them pass. But they made comments about Iraqi children getting lighter and sneered about ISIS having brought in foreign fighters – likely from Russia or former Soviet Union countries that have a majority Muslim population.

The men who came down the hill stripped to the waist to show they did not have bombs strapped to their chests.

Most of the displaced only had the clothes on their backs and showed signs of dehydration and malnutrition. Their faces were filled with both relief and fear. One woman cried her children were “dying of hunger” and that “God would get revenge” on ISIS for what they did to her family.


But on a day when Prime Minister Abadi was seeking to encourage his people, his declaration of victory after the long battle provided some hope and relief. After his praise of the Federal Police, celebrations broke out in the streets, children danced with Iraqi flags, women created hijabs from Iraqi flags out of pride and soldiers in armored vehicles took selfies with their friends.

For the Special Forces, the fight against ISIS in Iraqi is not over, and certainly, Mosul will not be totally safe again for a long time. ISIS has not been eradicated. It still has a strong hold in cities like Tal Afar, Hawija, and there have been incidents of violence in the province of Kirkuk.

The soldiers will have to fight again another day. There are still ISIS fighters in Tal Afar, Hawija and other places in Iraq. But they have pushed hard in the battle against a determined enemy who used civilians as human shields.

For those who survived the long occupation, it will be years before they are able to say the fight is over. They now face steep challenges in rebuilding their homes, or finding work in a shattered economy, or living with their faith and hoping to preserve the memory of the prosperous city they once called home.


Ash Gallagher is a journalist covering the Mideast for Yahoo News.


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Iraqi Forces Kill 79 Israeli ISIS Militants In Mosul Over Past 24 Hours: U.S. Helicopters Rescued ISIS Commanders In Mosul

Iraqi servicemen killed at least 79 militants of the [U.S. Israeli Proxy Army ISIS] daesh terror group as part of the operation aimed at liberation of the western part of Mosul during the past 24 hours, Lt. Gen. Raid Shakir Jaudat of the Iraqi Federal Police said Sunday.

On Saturday, the Iraqi federal police freed two areas along with a bridge in the western part of the city of Mosul from Daesh, the operation’s command said and Jaudat specified that the Iraqi forces took the control over the area near the building housing Nineveh Governorate’s administration.

On June 22, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said Mosul was likely to be cleared of terrorists within days.

Mosul has served as the Daesh headquarters in Iraq since the group’s invasion from Syria in 2014. On February 18, Abadi announced the start of operations to liberate the western half of the city. Iraqi and the US-led coalition forces freed its eastern part in late January 2017, with fighting now ongoing to complete the mission.


Photos Of U.S. Forces Assisting ISIS Terrorists ~ A U.S. Israeli Mercenary Proxy Army.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Asa’eb al-Haq Movement affiliated to the Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi said that the US forces have carried out a rapid heliborne operation and evacuated two commanders of ISIS terrorists from Western Mosul in Northern Iraq.

Javad al-Talaybawi said that the US forces carried out the heliborne operation in one of the Western neighborhoods of Western Mosul, evacuating two senior ISIS commanders to an unknown location after the commanders came under siege by Iraqi government forces in intensified clashes in Western Mosul.

“Americans’ support and gave assistance to [Israeli – U.S. Proxy Army] ISIS is done openly to save their regional plan in a desperately attempt,” al-Talaybawi underlined.

Netanyahu’s Proxy Army ISIS

Al-Talaybawi had warned late in February that the US forces tried hard to evacuate ISIS commanders from the besieged city of Tal Afar West of Mosul.

After photos surfaced in the media displaying US forces assisting ISIS terrorists, al-Talaybawi said that the Americans were planning to take ISIS commanders away from Tal Afar that is under the Iraqi forces’ siege.

In the meantime, member of Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Commission Iskandar Watut called for a probe into photos and footages displaying US planes airdropping aid packages over ISIS-held regions.

Watut further added that we witnessed several times that US planes dropped packages of food stuff, arms and other necessary items over ISIS-held regions, and called on Iraq’s air defense to watch out for the US-led coalition planes.

Eyewitnesses disclosed at the time that the US military planes helped the ISIS terrorists in Tal Afar region West of Mosul.

“We saw several packages dropped out of a US army aircraft in the surrounding areas of the city of Tal Afar in Western Nineveh province and six people also came out of a US plane in the ISIL-controlled areas,” the Arabic-language media quoted a number of eyewitnesses as saying.

Tal Afar city has been under the siege of the Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) for about two months now and the efforts by the ISIS terrorists to help their comrades besieged in Tal Afar have failed so far.

The news comes as the Iraqi army had reported that the US air force has been helping the ISIS terrorists in areas controlled by the terrorist group.

The Iraqi army says that the US army is trying to transfer the ISIS commanders trapped in areas besieged by the Iraqi army to safe regions.

Global Research

FARS News Agency

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