Iraq’s Prime Minister arrived Sunday in Mosul to mark the end of ISIS’ reign over the city. The visit falls short of a celebration of triumph.
After nine months of ISIS control, the city is in rubble. Destruction of ancient buildings and artifacts meant Iraqi forces were unable to display their flag in Mosul. Sleeper cells and suicide bombers are still a threat to Iraqi security forces.
Thousands of people were killed. A million more were displaced. Families returning to their homes, hoping to rebuild their lives, fear booby-traps. Officials fear an escalation of attacks in city centers as the group retreats to its insurgent roots.
Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city. It was the largest city being held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. U-S supported Kurdish and Arab fighters are now focused on taking back Raqqa. The Syrian city has served as the de-facto capital of ISIS militants. The group has control over several cities in both countries.