Skip to main content

Liberated Mosul residents take moment to breathe

As the Iraqi forces declare the total liberation of Mosul, its residents rediscover the pleasures of freedom, for a moment forgetting about the past and the challenges ahead.
Iraqi Federal Police celebrate in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad - RTX3AMLG
Read in 

MOSUL, Iraq — As the Islamic State (IS) crumbled in western Mosul and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi traveled to Iraq's second largest city to proclaim its liberation on July 9, some Iraqis began to think about plans for reconstruction. The government moved to enforce security, and Mosul residents — able to breathe a bit — took steps toward returning to normalcy, though it will take some time to undo what IS has done.

It was during hours of nonstop dancing at a cousin's July 1 wedding that Riad could forget for awhile the image of his three-story house blowing up. IS had uploaded footage of it to the Internet. As a policeman for the state, Riad had been a target of the militant group. At the wedding, he blocked out the reality for one moment that he no longer had a house or a job with which to support his wife and two children.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.