Mosul suffered extensive damage during the ISIS occupation and the US retaliation; massive reconstruction needs to be done before life can be normal again.
Inside the buildings in western Mosul, now a ghost town, it’s often eerily quiet as walls muffle the gunfire, the constant background noise.
The site of the citadel dates back almost 8000 years and archaeologists have uncovered ancient artefacts, as workers revive it as a tourist spot and museum.
Hundreds of Iraqis fled the heavy fighting in the Mosul-Baghdad area and headed to areas which had been reclaimed from the ISIS.
With eastern Mosul rid of the ISIS, who enforced rules like keeping long beards and veils for women, Iraqis can now enjoy their freedom and liberty.
In Sunni-majority Mosul, Saddam Hussein is still idolised and the central authorities in Baghdad are distrusted as Mosul limps through the ISIS occupation.
The girls have years of catching-up to do as most of them stopped going to school after ISIS militants overran Mosul in June 2014.
The troops’ progress has been slow as about 400,000 civilians, or a quarter of Mosul’s pre-war population, are trapped in the Old City, according to the UN.
Since the split in 2014, the two groups have fought over recruits, funding and the mantle of global jihad; leaders of both are also critical of each other.
The Iraqi police accused ISIS of attacking their forces with chemical weapons against the militant crackdown undertaken by the State over the past six months.
The visit shows the far-reaching portfolio of Kushner, who is part of Trump’s innermost circle and has been given a wide range of domestic and foreign policy responsibilities
When US rivals committed atrocities in Aleppo, Western talking heads were appalled. But when the US supports them in Mosul? Silence.
Thousands of residents have fled from ISIS-held areas inside Mosul, the militants’ biggest remaining stronghold in Iraq.
Amnesty International has said the high civilian toll in Mosul suggested US-led coalition forces had failed to take adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths.
The Mosul strike, if confirmed, would be one of the deadliest single incidents for civilians in recent memory in any major conflict involving the US military
The military’s casualty figure of 160 was much lower than that given by local officials. A municipal official had said on Saturday that 240 bodies had been pulled from the rubble.
The Iraqi prime minister said Trump appeared more enthusiastic about battling Islamist extremists than Barack Obama’s administration had been.
The blast occurred on a busy commercial street in the Amil neighborhood. There was no claim of responsibility, but ISIS has carried out similar attacks in Baghdad and other cities as their hold on Mosul weakens.
Rights groups have expressed concern over the mounting civilian death toll, as ISIS fights from homes and densely-populated areas in Mosul.
Iraqi forces battled ISIS militants in their stronghold of Mosul and took control of the last major road leading west from the city, before bomb blasts ripped through a wedding party near Tikrit, killing more than 20 people.
Carried across the desert by her grandsons, under sniper and mortar fire, 90-year-old Khatla Ali Abdallah was one of thousands who braved the difficult and dangerous journey out of ISIS’s shrinking stronghold in the west of the city.
Even when ISIS is defeated, unless different groups can repair their relationship, violent extremism will remain, and peace in Iraq will stay elusive.
Several thousand militants are believed to be holed up in the city with nowhere to go, which could lead to a fierce standoff amid a population of 750,000.
A Reuters correspondent saw around 200 women and children being transported on buses by federal police to the town of Hammam al-Alil.
In western Mosul, the UN estimates that up to 400,000 civilians, half of them children, already suffering shortages could be displaced by the offensive.
The US commander in Iraq, army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, says that they will be able to capture Mosul and Raqqa within the next six months.
A soldier said that he wanted citizens to know the price for supporting terrorists while another man thought that everyone’s entitled to a burial.
Around 40,000 students who dropped out under the ISIS curriculum, which included lessons in bomb making, will attend 70 schools in the coming weeks.
The collapsed bridge has become a lifeline for civilians who take suitcases to escape east to Zuhur, while those who come back bring supplies.
ISIS claimed carrying out the first attack in a statement, saying the bomber had targeted “a gathering of Shi’ites” in Jamila, the other was unclaimed.
Four other attacks on Monday, claimed by ISIS, killed nine more people – bringing the total death toll in the capital over the past three days to over 60.
Although the militants are vastly outnumbered, they have embedded themselves among Mosul residents, hindering Iraqi forces who are trying to avoid civilian casualties.
Lieutenant General Ali Freiji, who was overseeing army operations said that three fronts began advancing on the city centre at 7 am.
The battle for Mosul, involving 100,000 Iraqi troops, members of the Kurdish security forces and Shi’ite militiamen, is the biggest ground operation in Iraq since the US-led invasion of 2003.
ISIS, which is putting up fierce resistance to a US-backed offensive to retake Mosul, the group’s last major stronghold in Iraq, has been accused of massacre, enslavement and rape since it swept across large swathes of the country’s north and west in 2014.
Many residents fled to the safety of camps outside the city as it was being “liberated”, but a growing number of civilians are being dragged back into violence.
The distribution was aimed to reach 45,000 people but was overrun by residents desperate for air after living in acute shortage of food, water and fuel
The UN issued a fresh warning on Wednesday about the humanitarian situation in eastern Mosul.
Aid workers have said that a full siege is developing in Mosul and fear that the longer the conflict drags on, the more civilians will suffer.
Every time Iraqi forces capture a section of Mosul in their offensive against ISIS, it can take up to a week to ensure it is clear of militants.