mosul

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Mosul (Arabic: الموصل‎‎ al-Mawṣil, Kurdish: مووسڵ‎, Syriac: ܡܘܨܠ‎, translit. Māwṣil, Turkish: Musul) is a major city in northern Iraq. Since October 2016 it has been the site of a military operation to dislodge and defeat militant forces. The city had been under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant from June 2014 to July 2017. The Battle of Mosul, a military offensive to retake the city begun in October 2016, is the largest deployment of Iraqi forces since the 2003 invasion by U.S. and coalition forces. As of March 2017, eastern Mosul is under the control of the Iraqi security forces, while a small portion of the western part of the city remains under siege. On 9 July 2017, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi arrived in preparation to announce the full liberation of Mosul and reclaim the city after three years of ISIL control. A formal declaration was made on the next day.

Located some 400 km (250 mi) north of Baghdad, Mosul stands on the west bank of the Tigris, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank. The metropolitan area has grown to encompass substantial areas on both the “Left Bank” (east side) and the “Right Bank” (west side), as the two banks are described by the locals compared to the flow direction of Tigris.

At the start of the 21st century, Mosul and its surrounds had an ethnically and religiously diverse population; the majority of Mosul’s population were Arabs, with Assyrians, Armenians, Turkmens, Kurds, Yazidis, Shabakis, Mandaeans, Kawliya, Circassians in addition to other, smaller ethnic minorities. In religious terms, mainstream Sunni Islam was the largest religion, but with a significant number of followers of the Salafi movement and Christianity (the latter followed by the Assyrians and Armenians), as well as Shia Islam, Sufism, Yazidism, Shabakism, Yarsanism and Mandaeism.

Mosul’s population grew rapidly around the turn of the millennium and by 2004 was estimated to be 1,846,500. An estimated half million people fled Mosul in the second half of 2014 when the IS fought with government forces for control of the city. On November 17, 2014, ISIS attacked the city of Mosul, ultimately killing seven civilians, two soldiers, and wounding 35 others. While some residents returned, more fled in 2015 as fighting and violence increased, and US bombings pounded the city.

Historically, important products of the area include Mosul marble and oil. The city of Mosul is home to the University of Mosul and its renowned Medical College, which together was one of the largest educational and research centers in Iraq and the Middle East. The University has since been closed. The Islamic State’s leadership in Mosul has kept the Medical College open but it is reported to be barely functional.

Until 2014, Mosul, together with the nearby Nineveh plains, was one of the historic centers for the Assyrians and their churches; the Assyrian Church of the East; its offshoot, the Chaldean Catholic Church; and the Syriac Orthodox Church, containing the tombs of several Old Testament prophets such as Jonah, which was destroyed by ISIL in July 2014

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Daniel Wickham (@DanielWickham93) tweeted at 5:17 AM – 11 Jul 2017 :

New Amnesty report finds Iraqi and U.S.-led forces may have killed 5,805 civilians in Mosul between Feb and June https://t.co/3uc51i40DF (http://twitter.com/DanielWickham93/status/884733456344862720?s=17)

Daniel Wickham (@DanielWickham93) tweeted at 4:31 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :

The liberation of Mosul and the prospects for Iraqi rebirth https://t.co/dE4YRGJbt6 excellent from @fanarhaddad (http://twitter.com/DanielWickham93/status/885084265389719553?s=17)

AmnestyUK Media Team (@NewsFromAmnesty) tweeted at 5:14 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :

Amnesty report on #Mosul battle is “deeply irresponsible” https://t.co/S7IUrKPwwN < Really? Judge for yourself: https://t.co/A1BiEw0qvU https://t.co/tBNSAENlgv (http://twitter.com/NewsFromAmnesty/status/885095023292932097?s=17)

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“My name is Kainoa Little, and I am a Shoreline, Washington-based conflict photographer. I was in Mosul in April and May 2017, documenting Iraqi forces as they fought Islamic State militants to liberate the city.

I tried and failed to find newspapers and wire services who would purchase my photos. But the soldiers had fed me and given me a seat in their Humvees, and the refugees had tolerated my presence on some of the worst days of their lives. They very rightly expected that I would tell their story.

The worst uncertainty for me as a freelancer in conflict isn’t that I won’t be able to pay my rent; it’s that no one will see the story, and then I will have failed to give a voice to the voiceless. So I have tried to share them where I can, and hopefully people can imagine some of the human tragedy and triumph playing out in Mosul.”

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“The bodies are turning up in the Tigris River….This is what post-Mosul is. This is just the beginning.” buzzfeed.com/nancyyoussef/u…

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