Stories From Inside Mosul

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The central market place in Mosul, the west bank

The central market place in Mosul, the west bank

By Ahmed Zaidan

⦁ Eastern Mosul has been totally liberated according to the Iraqi prime minister
⦁ 180,000 has displaced their homes since the military campaign started
⦁ 90 percent of governmental buildings were damaged, eastern Mosul
⦁ The five bridges span at Tigris in the city were bombed by the international coalition
⦁ The eastern part of Mosul where densely populated, is still as the last stronghold of ISIS in Iraq
⦁ Mosul is recovering gradually, towards the river where the last battle has cleansed the district of al Al Rashydia from ISIS fighters
⦁ From the rumors that ISIS spread in western Mosul that ISIS has sent 200 suicide bombers to carry on suicide attack in the liberated eastern part of Mosul
⦁ ISIS also try to convince people of the west part Mosul that the Iraqi forces are persecuting the locals on religious level and the belief, there

What do you know about the west part in Mosul

As battle is hurtling quickly towards the river, the stories are gushing from there. Perhaps, due the safe corridors being opened for the media to operate on wider range, unlike the west part of the city that’s still untouched yet. Many stories haven’t been told yet, many atrocities have been committed under the rug. But, we have managed to reach the town , and we found out, that the people have gotten used to the war.

The everyday rhythm is attended by mortar shells. The story being spreading among the locals about terrifying killings being shown in the public places, has pushed every family to think that they can be the next victim. Another fears overshadowed the locals in there, it’s of the international bombardments that have recorded mistakes and targeted civilians many times, or it could be not enough accurate. Many civilians have been killed in targeting ISIS car or small media stalls deployed in the crammed marketplaces with civilians rather than ISIS elements.

Iraqi forces encircle Mosul from all directions. From the west, popular mobilization troops are blocking the way to Syria. since months, and Mosul is under the embargo, where the goods access is impossible in current situation. Just the imminent famine is to knock the door of every family, western Mosul.
Locals from there have assured that there is no markets and any form of life. The dominator food is the flour, radish and potatoes which is far fetched for the majority because of its high price.
locals talk of the scary density of ISIS families, fled the liberated eastern Mosul, recently. While, rockets bases are being set in the inhabited areas.

While in the Eastern part ,victory by victory has been achieved by the Iraqi special forces in driving out ISIS from the city of 1.5 million population. Since over three months when the Iraqi prime minster has declared 10th of October is the kicking off the combat for Mosul liberation from the grip of so called the Islamic state. Iraqi Prime minister revealed that there had been attempt of delaying the battle, but he exceeded it. He vowed that by the end of 2016 there would be no terror in whole Iraq.

The international community has expressed its concern over and over that the battle in Mosul might trigger an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in modern history. The civil community organizations also warned that ISIS would use the big population in Mosul as human shields. While Iraqi government pretended that it is prepared to accommodate what is likely to happen. In displacement zones where the camps brought by the UN. The number of those who were forced to leave their homes in Mosul 180.000 over the last three months, according to the international organization for migration. While the majority is still detained in the districts where the combat makes the idea of being without ceiling for a moment is an imminent death by the mortar shells being launched by ISIS all the time. Every bomb car sent by ISIS turns the course of the fight from time to time, as it targets Iraqi troops regardless to the inflict damage to the civilians. Wherever the car blows, it means in midst of inhabited areas. People of Mosul have stayed in their houses in obedience to the instructions issued by the security forces pre the battle.

Americans reportedly have engaged directly in the fight, shoulder to shoulder with the Iraqi special forces. The joint operation has finally succeeded to repel the raid waged by ISIS on Al Zuhur neighborhood, eastern Mosul. The troops have restored control on the area. According to some witnesses.
The reports say that that ISIS has blown more than 700 car bomb since the operation to retake Mosul has started.

STORIES FROM THERE
Man on the knees
Early last month, social media narrated the story of a man from Mosul who has returned from the camps to check out his house. The man couldn’t hold himself to see his house being bombed. He accelerated to enter, despite the locals advice, not to go into house. As he pushed the door and rushed in , the bomb blew off. The man fell down on the knees asking for help. but no one has dared to come into the house for aiding him. After seconds, the house collapsed while he was inside. The story ended, he had promised his family to come back after checking out the house. But he wouldn’t.

Another story of a woman who narrates her story aftermath
Our story has started when the Iraqi forces were so close to our neighborhoods that we could hear their clashes with ISIS and the special forces. ISIS fighter rushed to our house in a bid to displace us. The IS fighter told us that the infidels are close us and we should be leaving the house. We did not. He came again and shot the door. My husband accelerated to tell them that the house is not empty yet. The fighter has accused my husband of being linked to the special forces via phone. My husband denied the charge. I heared that he was threatening to kill my husband but I rushed to them to beg him not to do so. I swear to him that we are family of two daughters who are inside. He took us to another alley where many families were crammed into houses. we were three family in a house sitting in the guests room. It was a matter of minutes before I saw the house had collapsed on us. I lost my sister and her son. the other family were killed. My two daughters were gravely wounded. It was the bomb car blasted just in front of the house.

FROM INSIDE MOSUL AS NORMAL CITY

Mosul was once a thriving city in Iraq. A decade ago at least .. The inflicted damage to the city has been increased in the last two years. No thing comes from a vacuum but because of the vacuum of the international role in protecting it in the era of the past fragile government . As the combat to drive ISIS out of city, more people are being displaced, gravely wounded and killed. The imminent danger is that ISIS could get more frenzied in terms of targeting the civilians that show their sympathy and support to the Iraqi troops on TV or in the social media photos.

The coexistence in Mosul between the diverse communities is what gives the city its flavor. It is the hometown for the biggest Christian community in Iraq.
The clue is how to support the idea of ethnic variety in Mosul. For this purpose we would need new course taken by the religious entities, call for the reform at all levels in terms of Friday sermons which must be unified and subjected to the community regulations. It has to be pure call for coexistence and free of violation of other’s beliefs at any part.

Today, locals in Mosul have comprehended more than any ever that there would be no way to build up a stable community without burying the hatred speech that prepared a fertile ground for ISIS to emerge. The first ISIS element was a book in Al Najafi street. The book that promotes the extremism and abhorrent of other belief. But we should not forget that together, we will burn this book and its counterparts.

Yes, Mosul has lost a lot, more than any ever in all the history phases. The 3000 years old monuments were wiped out. The antiquities and artefacts were looted and being sold in the black market. It was lucrative source of income for the murderers to buy more guns and commit further atrocities against the humanity. They ruined the statues of winged bulls and the precious sculptures date back to the Assyrians the founders of Ninawa’s empire. One day, the Assyrian empire had extended from Persia east to the Turkey and handful of south Europe and north Africa. For almost four centuries, the Assyrian empire which said to be based on slavery of other kings who were building the palaces of the great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal. The great king who keens to subject other kings to his power by turning them doing so. The great Ninawa’s king also, had built the most important library in the history.

Today, No thing of these monuments was left as reminders to the next generations of how the humanity had started its journey. The drones could have stopped ISIS from doing so, but the international community preferred to allocate millions of dollars to find out whether there is a glimmer of life on Pluto, and people march in the streets to protest that Pluto should called a planet not an asteroid. Meanwhile, the human civilization was in its way to vanishing in a process, said to be lasted for months whether in Iraq or Syria.

WHAT IF THEY COULD’VE CONQUERED THE LIBERATED DISTRICTS AGAIN
Unverified reports from Mosul showed that two families said to be slaughtered in the liberated Al Tamim neighborhood after an offensive carried out by IS fighters. Other families were abandoned their houses to the eastern districts in a bid to avoid such massacres from happening.
But, quickly the special forces have managed to defeat the IS elements who sneaked to the liberated neighborhoods so close to the front lines. Iraqi special forces patrolling the neighborhoods, calling people to feel safe by speakers attached to the military vehicles.

Iraqi forces spokesman also gave an announcement that few of IS elements had leaked to the liberated areas. They got an advantage of absence of the air support due to the bad weather. But the special forces have killed all of them immediately and restored the stability, once again.
The families who displaced today, were accommodated to the houses of strangers in the safe areas, while others went to their relatives. According to a family from there, reported to Mosul In English that as we heard that there were families seeking refuge, we accelerated to open our doors for them.
“Just feel at home” what my mother told the family being hosted in our house. The man also describes the attitude towards displaced families came from the experience that he and his family have passed through previously. ” we were displaced like them three weeks ago, for fear of the fight in our neighborhood, but as things got better, we returned”

According to Stephen Townsend that the led US coaltion managed to kill and wound more than 2000 IS elements, during the led US military operation in Mosul. While there are still an estimated 3000 to 5000 IS fighters defending the city.

Townsend hold a joint press confernce with US defense secretary Ash Carter who pledged that another 2000 troops to be sent to Syria for defeating terror.

US defense secretary arrived Iraq to assess the fight to recapturing Mosul from the grip of what so called the Islamic state. He added that the battle to Mosul among the big population was a challenging for any army in the world, including the US military.

BAGHDAD BLEEDS THE LAST DAY OF 2016

27 is the death toll of Baghdad blasts.
Another 53 have gravely wounded
Two men reported to have been blown themselves in midst of the crowds at market place in Baghdad. The suicide bombers have targeted people at popular restaurant, while they were having their breakfast at eight o’clock this morning. Spokesman said.
The suicide attacks come a day after the anniversary of Saddam’s hanging. Americans have alerted Iraqi government in advance this month, that the suicide attacks could be increasingly returned within the next days.
Baghdad was never safe
Last week, the story of the hijacked journalist Afrah Shawqi has been floated to social media and vastly published in Iraqi media and papers. The mutual charges between the political blocks and militant groups in Baghdad has ignited the turmoil more than before. While ISIS didn’t adopt the operation.
ISIS, is seemingly resorted to the old course of fight in attacking Iraqi cities, frequently to score the most deadly offensives among the civilians. Iraqi forces have succeeded to restore almost all the territories conquered by ISIS since 2013. Iraqi forces are ought to face the biggest challenge of driving ISIS out from Mosul, thereafter. The process might take longer then the expected time. The next spring, the deadline scheduled by the Iraqi prime minister for Mosul to be totally released.

MOSUL IS RECOVERING
The best is yet to come !
Abu Omar from Mosul describes the situation after liberation as unbelievable peace awash into the district of eastern Mosul neighborhoods. He started to narrate the atrocities engulfed the town during ISIS era. No tolerance, no mercy and fears of future, it was the items of everyday life, that time. People were exposed to punishment for simple things, such as unveil woman face or smoking cigarettes. Abu Omar hold his breath while he remembered the the young guy who has been killed at his place for finding out document in his pocket proven the he had worked in the Iraqi election. Abu Omar said to ISIS element , you have killed the man who has been an orphan all his lif, as his father was killed in the Iranian war, while his mother has devoted her life for her sole son. The ISIS element said that they killed him because he had worked with the infidels. Abu Omar had suffered with his family the days of battle going on in their neighborhood. ISIS tried to push them out of the house, but they took a shelter under the stairs and kept silent for almost three days before they managed to cross to the next door neighbor, where they had spent another two days in midst of fire and fumes, outside. His wife was about to be shot but thanks god that the bullet mistaken the target. For ISIS, everyone was enemy, because everyone has been waiting the moment of driving ISIS out from the city.

We finally got to find our way to the Saddam neighborhood, the liberated district since 15 days before our neighborhood. Iraqi forces had embraced us and helped us to cross the main street, then guided us to the safe refuge.

The documents found in Mosul by the Iraqi forces reveal what is under rug
What has recently published widely on social media has proven finally that what so called the Islamic state was no more than a group of gangs from worldwide has manipulated the religion. They invaded Mosul in June 2014 , ruined the city, and pushed nearly a million out of the town. Abu Omar, from Mosul describes the day when ISIL conquered the city, They were sending a comforting messages to people of Mosul that they have come to aid them and saving them from the brutal army that used to arrest and insulting them.

Christians were asked to feel safe in the custody of the Islamic state. They should pay the Jizya according to the Islamic Sharia. So the heads of Christians were asked to attend the first rally held by the Islamic state in Mosul in bid to compromise their issues. In that very moment, there was a time that the Christians has to choose, whether to go and never return ,or to flee. All in all, the escaping had been the best choice, that time. They fled, their properties were looted by ISIS elements.