Charting a Course Beyond Mosul: No Easy Way Forward

MIN READJun 30, 2017 | 21:31 GMT

The al-Nuri Mosque

The Islamic State destroyed the al-Nuri mosque in the Old City of Mosul to keep Iraqi security forces from capturing it and claiming a symbolic victory.


With the imminent military defeat of the Islamic State in Mosul, the government must find ways to unite to keep the specter of chaos at bay. On June 29, as Iraqi state TV proudly proclaimed "The Myth of the ISIS Caliphate Has Fallen," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made his way to western Mosul to give a victory address. On June 29, after months of tough urban fighting, Iraqi forces had reclaimed critical pieces of the western part of the city, including the remains of the al-Nuri mosque in the Old City. Like the mosque, the Islamic State in Iraq lies in rubble, but the Mosul offensive has helped rehabilitate the security forces in the eyes of many Iraqis. Yet many battles still lie ahead, including dangerous political ones....

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