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Mosul Heading for Tougher Days in Post-ISIS Period | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cars burnt and destroyed by clashes are seen on a street during a battle between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants, in Mosul, Iraq March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Erbil- Iraq’s second largest city Mosul faces an unknown fate after having been torn by regional conflict and lost tens of thousands of civilians.

Other that the massive humanitarian situation, Mosul needs to overcome construction challenges after its infrastructure suffering great damage.

More than eight months of warfare have displaced 900,000 residents – about half the city’s pre-war population – and killed thousands of civilians. The destruction is far greater than expected and is likely to cost billions of dollars to fix, according to the United Nations.

Iraqi officials said that the upcoming period fairs as the toughest yet, despite all the fierce battles Mosul witnessed when being liberated from ISIS terrorists.

Nineveh Provincial Council Vice President Noureddine Kabalan said that the next stage poses great challenges to local governing authorities and the Baghdad-based federal government.

“There are many files that must be addressed properly and on a solid basis to prevent going back to ground zero,” he added.

“Restoring basic services to the city, the return of those displaced, and controlling security file and addressing the negative effects of the idea, all these are significant challenges that the government will face in the coming period,” Kabalan added.

Commenting on the strategy on tackling upcoming trials, Kbalan said that with “cooperation and concerted efforts obstacles standing in the way can be overcome.”

He stressed that “the federal government cooperating with local administrative bodies in the next phase will have a significant impact on restoring life to the area.”

The offensive to retake Mosul’s Old City from ISIS terrorists has damaged thousands of structures in and destroyed nearly 500 buildings, satellite imagery released by the United Nations on Thursday showed.

Images taken a week before the offensive began on June 18 showed damage to 2,589 structures with 153 destroyed. The Iraqi military and the US-led coalition backing it pounded the city for months with air strikes and artillery before the onset of the ground offensive in October.
ISIS also may have destroyed some buildings.

Five days later, as bombardment intensified, another 1,451 buildings had been damaged, including 43 more destroyed homes, according to the imagery documented by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

In the first 12 days of fighting inside the Old City, in which ISIS deployed dozens of suicide bombers, a further 1,496 structures were damaged, with 294 more destroyed. More damage is expected before the fighting ends.

ISIS rigged the historic Grand al-Nuri Mosque with explosives and razed it to the ground a week ago. The Old City along with 17 July district and areas around Mosul airport are the most heavily affected parts of the city, the UN has said.

In some of the most damaged areas of the Old City, such as Ammu Baqqal, Bab al-Tub and the Bazaar, almost no buildings appear to have escaped damage.

A statement with the maps called the analysis preliminary and said it had not been validated in the field. The dense construction of that part of the city, it said, meant the destruction might be underestimated.

The cash-strapped Baghdad government is expected to appeal to international donors to help rebuild Mosul. The UN is working with local authorities on plans to rebuild health, water and energy infrastructure.