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Tue Aug 9, 2016, 10:24 AM

Iraq's Mosul residents feel relief, anxiety as 'liberation' nears

Source: Reuters

As Iraqi forces prepare to attack Islamic State in its de facto capital of Mosul, residents inside the city and others who have managed to escape expressed relief at the prospect their home could be liberated from the extremist group's harsh rule.

But they also warned that if the assault is successful, the city's Sunni-majority population would refuse to return to what they called the repressive yoke imposed by the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad in the past.

The Iraqi army and its elite units that will lead the offensive are gradually taking up positions around the city 400 km (248 miles) north of Baghdad, from whose Grand Mosque in 2014 Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate spanning regions of Iraq and Syria.

The offensive is slated for late September, said Hisham al-Hashimi, who works for the government as a consultant on IS affairs and is author of the book "The World of Daesh" (IS).

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-mosul-idUSKCN10J1CM

And what will be left of Mosul after liberation? The aftermath of the liberation of Ramadi is not encouraging:

"Iraq routed ISIS from Ramadi at a high cost: A city destroyed

RAMADI, Iraq This is what victory looks like in the Iraqi city of Ramadi: In the once thriving Haji Ziad Square, not a single structure still stands. Turning in every direction yields a picture of devastation.

A building that housed a pool hall and ice cream shops reduced to rubble. A row of money changers and motorcycle repair garages obliterated, a giant bomb crater in its place. The square's Haji Ziad Restaurant, beloved for years by Ramadi residents for its grilled meats flattened. The restaurant was so popular its owner built a larger, fancier branch across the street three years ago. That, too, is now a pile of concrete and twisted iron rods.

The destruction extends to nearly every part of Ramadi, once home to 1 million people and now virtually empty. A giant highway cloverleaf at the main entrance to the city is partially toppled. Apartment block after apartment block has been crushed . Along a residential street, the walls of homes have been shredded away, exposing furniture and bedding. Graffiti on the few homes still standing warn of explosives inside.

When Iraqi government forces backed by U.S.-led warplanes wrested this city from Islamic State militants after eight months of ISIS control, it was heralded as a major victory. But the cost of winning Ramadi has been the city itself."


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Reply Iraq's Mosul residents feel relief, anxiety as 'liberation' nears (Original post)
uawchild Aug 2016 OP
Xithras Aug 2016 #1

Response to uawchild (Original post)

Tue Aug 9, 2016, 12:25 PM

1. Are they really relieved?

Anyone interested in the fall of Mosul (or the failures of the Iraq war and the rise of ISIS in general) should watch the documentary, The Fall of Mosul. It's 90 minutes long, but it clearly lays out how a few hundred jihadi's managed to take over a town of more than 2.5 million people (spoiler alert: The population preferred ISIS to the corrupt and abusive Iraqi government). It's very well produced, is generally politically neutral (it points out major policy failures of both administrations), and covers a lot of events that are relatively unknown in the west.

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