After 3 long years under the control of ISIS, the city of Mosul in Iraq has been finally declared liberated from the terrorist group by the Iraqi PM, Haider al-Abadi. This spark a flurry of joyous and spontaneous celebrations all across Iraq, especially in the very city that was declared the “capital” of the so-called “Islamic State”.
3 years ago, the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, stepped onto the podium of the famous Nuri Mosque in the Old City of Mosul to declare his alleged “Caliphate”. Civilians in the city have suffered immensely under ISIS rule due to their imposition of harsh laws and restrictions on people’s lives and the indiscriminate killings the group committed.
Civilians are now able to breathe a sigh of relief after 3 years of terror. Life is gradually returning to normal as ISIS elements have slowly been expelled from the city since the operations of the Iraqi Army and coalition forces initiated their operations to liberate the city. These operations had begun in the east of the city from October 2016. All of the eastern parts of the city were liberated by January 2017.
The Iraqi and coalition forces then entered western parts of the city, where ISIS strongholds were based, and the terrorist group began to pull back in desperation. ISIS began to use civilians as tools for war as the forces advanced into territories that held great importance for them. The group employed civilians as human shields in order to dissuade the Iraqi forces from shooting at them and also put civilians into booby-trapped buildings, tricking the army into aiming at positions wherein ISIS militants were not to be found.
After intense fighting, especially in the narrow streets of the Old City, which represented the final and most difficult phase of the operations, the whole of Mosul was liberated at the start of July 2017 and this brought an end to ISIS in its self-proclaimed “capital”.