On October 17, the Iraqis remember the start of the battle to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS, on this day in 2016.
Although 4 years have passed since the start of the battles that ended with full control by the Iraqi forces, after about 9 months of intense fighting, the effects of destruction are still visible in many areas of Mosul, especially the Old City, amid the dangers of war remnants and mines.
According to Mahmoud Ezzo, a professor of political science at the University of Mosul, the battle to retake Mosul took place, the first of which was the announcement of the battle, adding that the second stop was to reach the outskirts of the city two weeks after the start of the battle, and to reach the Gogjali area to the east, after which the battles stopped for a week, then the direction Towards the neighborhoods of Al Zahraa and Al Samah and others, and this was the most prominent station.
Ezzo to Al-Jazeera Net indicates that the battle for Mosul has witnessed several stops since its launch, the first of which was in the last third of December 2016, which lasted for two weeks at the Khosr River.
He continues that, after crossing the river, the Iraqi forces regained the left coast on January 25, 2017, and within less than a month after that, the fighting stopped again.
On February 19, 2017, it set off again in the direction of the right coast, towards the areas of Al-Busif, the airport and Al-Ghazlani camp, and units of the fight against terrorism headed to the areas of Tal Al-Rumman, Al-Mamoun and the neighborhoods of Al-Shuhada (west).
For his part, journalist Ahmed Eid – who participated in covering the battle – considered it the most powerful street war in the modern era, and the like has not been witnessed in the world since World War II.
Eid recounts to Al-Jazeera Net, his observations of the war since the start of the operations, saying that he covered the northern and northeastern axis with the Peshmerga forces. He recalled that the Counter-Terrorism Service forces stormed the Gokjali area in early November 2016, when Iraqi forces entered the city after clashes, the first of which was the control of the headquarters of Radio Mosul.
Eid believes that the main reason for the delay in resolving the battle is the population density in the city, in addition to the fierce resistance by the organization.
The battle resulted in heavy losses, as human rights activist Muhammad al-Ubaidi asserts that the war was catastrophic for the people of Mosul, as the old area was almost completely destroyed, and other areas in the city were partially destroyed.
According to Al-Obeidi – in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net – the war against ISIS destroyed 30,000 homes throughout Nineveh Governorate, in addition to the destruction of the infrastructure.
As for the declared number of victims, it is inaccurate, according to Al-Obaidi, and the victims are divided between those executed by ISIS and those who died during the military operations, as entire families went because of the bombing.
The human rights activist adds that the victims can be estimated at a few thousand, and the war has left more than 25 thousand orphans and more than 6 thousand widows.
Eid supports what Al-Obaidi said, about the inaccuracy of casualty reports, as statistics estimate the number of ISIS dead at more than 5,000, while the announced figures for the number of civilians who died in this war range between 9,000 and 11,000 dead.
He adds that these battles witnessed the displacement of many families who were inside the city, due to the intensity of the bombing.
Regarding the participation of the international coalition, Ezzo says that it was concentrated in the air and military sector, as well as in smart artillery operations, so their role was to support and support, especially on the information side and the electronic warfare aspect, including eavesdropping on ISIS.
And the professor of political science points to a very important factor in the battle, which is the great air cover provided by the international coalition forces.
For his part, the deputy from Nineveh Governorate, Abd al-Rahim al-Shammari, believes that this war has greatly affected Mosul, especially the old region, where heavy weapons were used and completely destroyed.
He added that the ISIS militants had largely barricaded themselves in the Old City, and the separation battle there led to massive destruction.
Al-Shammari points out – in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net – that the budgets that reach Nineveh Governorate so far are not sufficient to rebuild this destruction that occurred due to the war.
Regarding the economic repercussions, the activist Al-Obeidi explains that most Mosul families have lost their savings and livelihoods, and the private sector has become overburdened with debt.
He adds that there are social repercussions and is represented in the extent of damage to the Mosul family, from orphans, widows, and family problems as a result of the low level of income and unemployment.
Today, Mosul is living a life different from what it was before the war, and on this, psychological researcher Yunus Al-Murshid points out that the people of Mosul now need jobs to practice their new lives.
He confirmed to Al-Jazeera Net that the war had clear psychological effects on children before adults, adding that the 3 years of ISIS rule were dark and bloody, and that the people of Mosul lived through their lives.
The psychological researcher indicates that the city today needs radical solutions, such as clear and rapid reconstruction, and the employment of manpower, with the need to activate the role of psychological support for the people of Mosul.
As for Dr. Mahmoud Ezzo, he stresses the need to resolve the basic files that are among the results of the battle to restore Mosul, most notably the compensation file and the missing file.
He explained that this file is the most stressful and impedes the recovery of Mosul and its transition to a new stage, warning that politicians exploit the suffering of Mosul residents in a way that causes concern.
He also called on the Iraqi government to support the files of reconstruction and combating corruption, as well as the file of the trial of those responsible for the fall of Mosul.