By AFP – Jul 12,2017 – JORDAN TIMES
Displaced Iraqi women, who just fled their home, rest in the desert as they wait to be transported while Iraqi forces battle with Daesh militants in western Mosul, Iraq, February 27 (Reuters photo)
MOSUL, Iraq — Once the beating heart of Iraq’s second-largest metropolis, the Old City of Mosul is now a broken wreck, its winding streets piled high with rubble and hardly a building spared from destruction.
After months of gruelling battles to retake Mosul from the Daesh terror group, the Old City has become a bleak landscape of gutted buildings, crumbling concrete and pockmarked mosque domes.
Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi declared Mosul finally retaken on Monday, as his forces fought to recapture a last sliver of territory still held by the extremist militants in the Old City on the west bank of the Tigris River.
But the cost of that victory has reduced a once-thriving urban hub to a grey wasteland.
Residential low-rises that once housed families and shops have been flattened or blasted into empty shells.
Burned-out cars sat on top of each other in craters, as armoured cars, mechanical diggers and ambulances jostled for space on the narrow streets.
The bodies of dead extremists lay on the road, covered by blankets.
In some buildings, remnants of life remained, once-private domestic scenes exposed when walls were torn away.
A room seems to float above the ruins, a clock hanging from the wall and an indoor plant sitting in a corner. Iron cooking pots and electric kettles sat amid the rubble.