General Hospital of Tal Afar opens as life returns to the town

Tal Afar was known to be one of ISIS’ most prominent strongholds not only in Nineveh province but in the whole of Iraq for almost three years between 2014 and 2017. ISIS rule and the clashes that ensued between the terrorist group and the Iraqi Army were detrimental to the health sector in the city. Nevertheless, months after the liberation of Tal Afar, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts are breathing new life into the hospitals and healthcare clinics of the city.

The General Hospital of Tal Afar is currently being rehabilitated. The hospital has not been in good shape since it was ravaged by the terrorist acts of ISIS. However, dozens of doctors have returned to work at the hospital and it is now also receiving batches of medication. The health sector in the city is likely to continue to see an improvement.

ISIS was known to cause significant damage to governmental, educational and health institutions, as well as historical monuments, throughout Iraq. Hospitals in other parts of the country were exposed to ISIS’ violence, for instance, in nearby Mosul, the former, self-proclaimed capital of the alleged ‘Islamic State’.

After the liberation of Mosul in mid-June, ISIS moved their bases to Tal Afar, also located in the province of Nineveh. The Iraqi Army was swift to react to ISIS’ displacement and imposed a siege on Tal Afar in order to cut ISIS’ escape and supply routes.

The Tal Afar ground offensive began on the 20th August, and what followed was a total Daesh collapse, which allowed the Iraqi forces to sweep into the centre of Tal Afar within six days and liberate the whole town within eight days, along with dozens of villages and mountain ranges on the outskirts of the town.

The whole of the city was liberated by the Iraqi forces in the beginning of September.

Image: MSF