Iraqi forces battle to retake Tal Afar from ISIL

The Battle of Tal Afar (2017) is an ongoing offensive announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in order to liberate the Tal Afar region from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the beginning of the Tal Afar offensive, telling the militants “You either surrender, or die” in a televised speech. Hours beforehand, leaflets were dropped on the city telling the residents to prepare for battle.


Mosul Is Completely Destroyed

When Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in western Mosul to declare its liberation from the Islamic State, he was surrounded by mountains of rubble and shattered stone—all that remains of the majority of the once-great city.
Rebuilding Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, will require many years, many billions of dollars, and deep coordination between government agencies and international partners like the United Nations Development Program or the German NGO Rebuild Iraq Recruitment Program, which support various reconstruction efforts. If lessons from the past are any indication, the reconstruction will be stymied by economic troubles, corruption, mismanagement, security problems, and the sheer scale of the destruction itself.
The longer the reconstruction is delayed, the harder and costlier it will become. This will have a serious impact on the fates of millions of people, Iraq’s economy, and its future stability, and may well lay the groundwork the creation of future militant uprisings.

In the fight to save it, here’s how Iraq’s Mosul was destroyed

The Battle of Mosul was a major military campaign launched by the Iraqi Government forces with allied militias, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and international forces to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which had seized the city in June 2014. During the military intervention against ISIL, Iraqi and Peshmerga forces had already made unsuccessful attempts to retake the city 2015 and again in 2016, despite limited gains.
The offensive, dubbed Operation “We Are Coming, Nineveh” began on 16 October 2016, with forces besieging ISIL-controlled areas in the Nineveh Governorate surrounding Mosul, and continued with Iraqi troops and Peshmerga fighters engaging ISIL on three fronts outside Mosul, going from village to village in the surrounding area in the largest deployment of Iraqi troops since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The battle was also the world’s single largest military operation in nearly 15 years.

Islamic State prepares for last stand in Mosul mosque

ISLAMIC State has barricaded the streets around the Grand al-Nuri Mosque in western Mosul in preparation for a last stand against Iraqi government forces. Residents have told Associated Press and Reuters that dozens of fighters have been seen taking up defensive positions in and around the mosque’s compound in the past two days.

Mosul offensive during Ramadan

The push inside the Old City coincides with the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. The offensive’s prime target is the al-Nuri mosque with its landmark leaning minaret, where Islamic State’s black flag has been flying since mid-2014.

Mosul Offensive : An Unexpected Encounter in the City’s Ruins

 Mosul’s wrecked roads, bridges and broader economy will take at least five years to repair and need billions of dollars of development that Iraq’s government will struggle to afford, officials returning to the battle-scarred city said

Bridge offers escape out of Mosul

Iraq’s army has built a pontoon bridge over the Tigris river south of Mosul, after flooding had blocked all crossing points, opening an escape route for families fleeing the fighting.