By AFP – Sep 09,2017 – JORDAN TIMES
Iraqi mechanics work in a garage in east Mosul on Wednesday, as they repair vehicles that were damaged during the offensive to retake Iraq’s second-largest city from Daesh (AFP photo)
MOSUL, Iraq — Two months since Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from the Daesh terror group extremists, Mohammed Seddiq’s bullet-riddled car is still off the road and his fruit and vegetable shop has yet to reopen.
Much of Iraq’s second city lies in ruins and many businesses are still at a standstill, even those that produced the famous muslin cotton fabric for which Mosul was renowned before the extremists seized it in 2014.
Three years ago, Seddiq, 32, owned two cars, but the extremists set fire to one and the other was damaged by mortar shells and bullets.
With all the garages still closed in his west Mosul neighbourhood, he sought out a mechanic in the industrial zone in the city’s east which was less severely damaged by fighting.
He expects the repairs to cost $1,000. In the meantime he will have to pay for taxis using his savings because “the state has announced that it will reimburse for cars and houses, but up to now nothing” has been paid.
Many of the cars awaiting repairs at Ghezwan Aqil’s workshop were damaged when bulldozer-driving extremists used them to form barricades against advancing Iraqi troops.
Their owners cannot afford to buy new cars and are prepared to wait one or two months for the repairs instead.
Aqil says that sometimes he will reduce a customer’s bill by half depending on their circumstances.
Even after Mosul’s recapture life is uncertain and insecurity is rife.