During the second anniversary of the victory of anti-terrorism, the reconstruction of Mosul is in progress
Xinhua News Agency reporter Bai Ping
In December, Mosul, Iraq ’s second largest city. Looking from the east bank of the Tigris River to the old town on the west bank, there is a ruin and a lot of devastation. Among the ruins, reconstruction work is in full swing.
In June 2014, Mosul, about 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, was occupied by the extremist group “Islamic State”. In July 2017, Mosul was recaptured by Iraqi government forces. On December 9, the same year, the Iraqi government announced the recovery of all territories that had been controlled by the “Islamic State” and achieved a historic victory against the “Islamic State”. Two years later, Xinhua News Agency reporters visited Mosul again.
The car slowly drove into the old city of Mosul, and a rumbling of sales came. The market was full of enthusiasm and a busy scene, in stark contrast to the surrounding ruins.
In front of a collapsed house, 8-year-old Isa was carrying wooden boards on the ground to a cart. The small body was carrying a wooden board twice his height, but it was hard but full of energy. Isa’s home was destroyed during the war and the family is working to repair it. “I want a new home.” Isa’s eyes were longing and looking forward.
The old city of Mosul has a complex architectural structure. “Islamic” militants used to hide in the narrow alleys of the city to fight with government forces and plant a large number of roadside bombs. According to official Iraqi data, about 115,000 buildings were destroyed in the centre of Mosul’s Old Town alone.
Some roads in the centre of the old city have been paved with asphalt, many workers are cleaning up the rubble, and some houses have been repainted. More and more Mosulese are returning home to participate in reconstruction efforts. The local government has also begun to rebuild infrastructure. Busy people bring hope and vitality to this broken city.
Reconstruction work is also in full swing at the landmark Nuri Mosque in Mosul’s Old Town. In 2014, Baghdadi announced the establishment of the so-called “Islamic State” here. Prior to the defeat of the “Islamic State”, the Nuri Mosque was blown up by militants. UNESCO has convened many experts and engineers to rebuild the Nuri Mosque and its minaret.
Construction engineer Imard Nizar’s company has signed a contract with UNESCO to clean up construction waste from 145 damaged houses in the old city of Mosul. “The contract stipulates 145 houses, but we are willing to complete the cleaning of 200 houses without compensation. We hope to help the suffering Mosul people to return to normal life as soon as possible,” Nizar said.
The governor of Nineveh Province, Najim Jubri, pointed out that the Iraqi government’s funding was too small to rebuild Mosul, and many foreign humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies are helping the local reconstruction.
Mosul Army Commander Ali Jubri told Xinhua News Agency that the entire state of Nineveh, including the capital Mosul, is currently stable, and the presence of “Islamic State” militants in the city has been minimized. The army is focusing on cleaning up remnants of militants in the desert and rural areas.
“I can now drive even late at night and no longer have to be afraid when I travel,” said taxi driver Bilal Abdullah. During the “Islamic State” occupation of Mosul, he took his family to hide with relatives and was frightened every day.
Iraqi Rear Admiral Amir Obedi believes that the reconstruction of areas that were once occupied by the “Islamic State”, including Mosul, requires continued security and stability. He called on all countries to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation with Iraq. “New conflicts must be avoided to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State.”