The people of Dhuluiyah in Iraqi Salahuddin Province are celebrating four years since they were liberated from ISIS militants.
Attended by hundreds of residents and public officials, the people of Dhuluiyah in Salahuddin Province have held a ceremony celebrating their city’s fourth anniversary of liberation from ISIS.
“The celebration was held in this brave city of Dhuluiyah to salute the blood of the martyrs and those wounded who gave their lives in defence of Iraq,” said a member of the local government.
Dhuluiyah, which lies 80 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad, was invaded by ISIS in June 2014, only to be initially thwarted by the tribes living there within two days.
However, in July 2014, the militant group laid siege to the city, destroying the bridges and roads leading to it. For over 200 days, residents were able to hold off against ISIS attempts to enter. However, once the locals ran out of food and ammunition, the militant group was able to take control of most of the city, except the “Arab al-Jubour” area, which was controlled by the Jubour Tribe.
In December 2014, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), aided by the local Sunni tribes launched an operation to rid the city of ISIS’ presence.
By January 2015, the area was fully liberated from ISIS control, as part of the operations to liberate Salahuddin Province from ISIS.
Officials in attendance of the ceremony stressed that they are making an effort to include the reconstruction of the city in the country’s budget.
“We noticed that the budget for these areas is 1%, which is very small and not enough to meet the needs of these areas. We made changes to the budget draft and sent it to the Council of Ministers. After it was amended, it was referred to the House of Representatives, which is set to discuss it soon,” said a female official in Dhuluiyah. “This new budget will be enough to rebuild these areas.”
Despite the destruction of a majority of their city and the absence of aid, the residents of the Dhuluiyah have shown their steadfastness against hardships, celebrating their city’s fourth liberation anniversary.