ISIS’s looming defeat is to be cheered, but the costs have been huge – loss of civilian life, destruction of ancient cities, increased attacks abroad and brewing conflicts in the region.
ISIS’s self-declared caliphate effectively collapsed in July, when US-backed Iraqi forces re-took Mosul, the group’s de facto capital in Iraq, after a gruelling nine-month battle.
Several hundred Mosul residents,including taxi drivers, Iraqi soldiers and defectors from ISIS, provided crucial information on ISIS militants.
It is the largest group of foreigners linked to ISIS to be held by Iraqi forces since they began driving the militants from Mosul and other areas in northern Iraq last year, an aid official said.
Dozens of displaced residents are returning to Mosul after the nine-month battle to recapture ISIS’s Iraqi stronghold, but devastation and jihadist threats remain.
Syria’s ambassador to India Riad Kamel Abbas said an Indian delegation has made several trips to Syria and Iraq in the past to seek information about them.
Thousands of children have been separated from their parents in the nine-month battle for Mosul and the preceding years of ISIS rule in northern Iraq – some found wandering alone and afraid among the rubble, others joining the refugee exodus from the city.
ISIS may be retreating, perhaps partly due to relentless US airstrikes in the past few months, but the price paid by Mosul is incomprehensibly high.
How Mosul’s identity is reconstituted will help determine whether Iraqi leaders can pacify a country dogged by jihadists and sectarian bloodshed for the past decade.
In its war against ISIS, the Trump administration has escalated its military intervention in the Middle East from extermination to straight up annihilation.
Ibrahim Al-Eshaiker Al-Jaafari said that there was also no evidence to show that the missing had ever been in Badush jail near Mosul, as Sushma Swaraj has claimed.
The Congress has claimed Sushma Swaraj has misled the families of the missing labourers by saying they were in a jail in Iraq, although the jail appears to have been destroyed three months ago.
More than one million people have fled their homes in Mosul and nearby villages since the fighting started over nine months ago.
Fakhri Hassan Al Issa, however, said that he could not confirm the presence of 39 Indian hostages in Iraq or if they were even alive.
After a major defeat in Mosul, ISIS seems to have suffered a blow that could end its goal of establishing a cross-border caliphate in the region.
After Mosul victory, Iraq’s government now faces the task of preventing revenge attacks against people associated with Islamic State.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s victory announcement signalled a big defeat for the hardline Sunni group, but pockets of Mosul remain insecure.
ISIS have now seized more than 75% of Imam Gharbi, a village on the western bank of the Tigris river some 70 km south of Mosul.
While the UK-based war observatory confirmed the news, Russia and US are still unable to publicly confirm or deny the death of the elusive ISIS leader.
Amnesty said the Iraqi coalition carried out a series of unlawful attacks using crude Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions that devastated densely populated areas.
An alliance of Iraqi government units, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shi’ite militias began working to recapture the city from militants in October.
The Iraqi authorities have conveyed that all cooperation would be extended and instructions have been issued by them to all relevant Iraqi agencies to locate the missing.
Despite the imminent closure of the conflict, concerns remain about resettling the displaced and rebuilding Mosul, while various religio-ethic tensions remain unsolved.
President Masoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government, says he will pursue an independent Kurdistan through dialogue with Baghdad and other regional powers.
Mosul’s basic infrastruture will cost more than $1 billion to repair after the US-backed Iraqi offensive to retake the city from Islamic State.
The leaning minaret of Mosul’s Grand al-Nuri Mosque lies in ruins after three years of Islamic State rule and the oppositions’ battle to reclaim it.
After eight months of warfare, Iraq captures mosque in Mosul, ISIS’s de facto capitol, and declares an end to the Islamic caliphate.
Iraqi forces started their push into the Old City of Mosul, which is the de facto capital of the ISIS ‘caliphate’, engaging militants dug in among civilians.
For many, however, Eid celebrations were overshadowed by fear for thousands stuck in the Old City in western Mosul still under ISIS control.
The Great Mosque was not only a significant cultural heritage site for Muslims in general, but it was also regarded as an essential part of the Mosul skyline – a symbol of the city’s long past and diverse communities.
“They have been killed, injured, abducted and forced to shoot and kill in one of the most brutal wars in recent history,” UNICEF said in a statement.
Iraqi officials had expressed that they had hoped that the mosque would be retaken from the stronghold of ISIS in time for Eid al-Fitr on Monday.
Despite previous reports of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death in US-led airstrikes, neither Moscow nor Washington are able to confirm his death, yet.
About 800 people fell prey to food poisoning at a camp near the Iraqi city of Mosul after breaking their Ramadan fast together with a communal iftar meal.
The attack comes as ISIS is about to lose Mosul, the de-facto capital of the hardline Sunni Muslim group in Iraq, to a US-backed Iraqi offensive.
With militants hiding in among the civilians, the government’s efforts to push back are taking longer than expected, and making hundreds of thousands flee.
Nadia Murad had been captured and sold as a slave by ISIS, after being taken in the summer of 2014 to Mosul, ISIS’ de facto capital in Iraq.
The same district in Baghdad has been bombed twice in the past year, both times being claimed as the responsibility of ISIS.
Up to 200,000 people still live behind ISIS lines in Mosul’s Old City and three other districts.
While US officials say more than 100 civilians died in the airstrike, local officials and eyewitnesses estimate the number of deaths to around 240.