Before And After: ISIS Literally Turned Mosul Into A Brown Smudge [PICTURES]

REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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A pair of satellite photos taken before and after the fight for Mosul show just how badly the city was destroyed.

Iraqi Security Forces, backed by the U.S. Operation Inherent Resolve coalition, retook the city from the Islamic State after nearly nine months of fighting earlier this month. Iraqi President Haider al-Abadi celebrated with his troops shortly after, but his government is now left with a city in ruin.

The above photo shows a large intersection in Mosul before and after the battle for the city. Mosul’s metropolitan area was once home to as many as 1.5 million people. It’s history goes back thousands of years, and it is home to many ancient buildings and historically significant places. Today, much of its population is displaced, while many of its historical landmarks are now ruins, including the al-Nuri mosque, a famous aspect of the city’s skyline since the 12th century.

ISIS blew up the mosque in late June as ISF troops closed in on their position late last month.


Some progress has already been made in rebuilding portions of the city. Eastern Mosul was retaken January, allowing some residents to return to their homes, or what was left of them.

“The first thing that came to my mind when I saw it was how to rebuild it again, and this is what I am doing now,” Ahmad Belo Malla El Hadidi told the United Nation Refugee Agency after returning to his dilapidated home. “We spent beautiful days here and I’d like to renew them.”

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