With Islamic State in retreat, the devastation comes into focus
More than three years have passed since the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate from Mosul’s al-Nuri mosque. With the militants’ threat receding, AP examines the devastation left behind.
Few ready to pay to rebuild Iraq after Islamic State defeat
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — For nearly 2½ miles along the western bank of the Tigris River, hardly a single building is intact. The warren of narrow streets of Mosul's Old City is a crumpled landscape of broken concrete and metal. Every acre is weighed down by more than 3,000 tons of rubble, much of it laced with explosives and unexploded ordnance.
Smothered by the Islamic State, an Iraqi teen dares to dream
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — The three women tensed as their taxi approached the checkpoint manned by Islamic State group fighters. Everyone in Mosul dreaded checkpoints; you could never predict what these gunmen might do in their fanatic drive to crush the slightest hint of "sin." One of them peered at the girl in the back seat, Ferah.
Winners of the Tamayouz Excellence Award architectural contest for 2017, with the theme “Rebuilding Iraq’s Liberated Areas: Mosul’s Housing Competition.”
Mosul is a graveyard: Final IS battle kills 9,000 civilians
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — The price Mosul's residents paid in blood to see their city freed was 9,000 to 11,000 dead, a civilian casualty rate nearly 10 times higher than what has been previously reported. The number killed in the nine-month battle to liberate the city from the Islamic State group marauders has not been acknowledged by the U.S.-led coalition, the Iraqi government or the self-styled caliphate.
Chronicler of Islamic State ‘killing machine’ goes public
The historian carried secrets too heavy for one man to bear.
He packed his bag with his most treasured possessions before going to bed: the 1 terabyte hard drive with his evidence against the Islamic State group, an orange notebook half-filled with notes on Ottoman history, and, a keepsake, the first book from Amazon delivered to Mosul.
He passed the night in despair, imagining all the ways he could die, and the moment he would leave his mother and his city.
Mosul’s morgue men endured worst of Islamic State butchery
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — The young man ended up on the morgue's examining table in two parts.
He had been seized for selling cigarettes, a crime usually punished by flogging by the Islamic State group extremists who had occupied Mosul. But while he was being whipped, he shouted a curse insulting religion. On the spot, they cut off his head for blasphemy.
Mosul’s morgue men sought glimmer of humanity amid atrocity
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — The morgue in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was where atrocity met bureaucracy.
Here was the processing point for the victims of the machine of butchery that the Islamic State group created during nearly three years of rule in large parts of Iraq and Syria. Every day, the doctors and staff witnessed the worst of what the militants were capable of inflicting on human beings, constantly fearing they could be next.
Mosul: Names of the Dead
Thousands remain missing after Iraq’s victories against IS
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — In 2014, Abdulrahman Saad was taken from his home in Mosul by Islamic State fighters, leaving his family in limbo.
They asked IS security offices and judges: Where is our husband and father? No answer. When the operation to retake Mosul began, they heard he was being held in the western part of the city, with hundreds of other prisoners. But when the area was liberated, they found no trace of Saad, the 59-year-old owner of a wholesale food store.
From sniper to saint, showing Iraqi Shiite militias’ power
BASRA, Iraq (AP) — In his martyrdom, he has virtually become a new saint for Iraq's Shiites. His poster adorns shop windows, men and women wear his image as badges. Poems praise his valor. His sniper's rifle, with which he's said to have killed nearly 400 Islamic State group militants, is now enshrined in a museum in the holiest Shiite city.
AIN ISSA, Syria (AP) — The 17-year-old Indonesian girl made a persuasive case to her family: Lured by what she had read online, she told her parents, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins they should all move to Syria to join the Islamic State group.
Each of her two dozen relatives found something in it for them. Free education and health care for the girls. Paying outstanding debts for her father and uncle. Finding work for the youngest men.
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — For one Iraqi lieutenant, the fight against the Islamic State group in Mosul has been a slow, methodical quest for revenge. For three years, he has hunted for two IS militants from his village who he believes killed his father. Along the way, he has shot to death detained militants after interrogating them, he acknowledges unapologetically.
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — For centuries, Mosul's Old City stood as neighborhood of densely built alleyways, homes facing each other across narrow and winding lanes. Now holes have been punched in that historic fabric with houses reduced to rubble.
In only three weeks from June 16 to July 8 bombardment damaged or destroyed nearly a third of the Old City, more than 5,000 of the district's approximately 16,000 residential buildings, according to a survey by U.N. Habitat using satellite imagery.
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — There was a smell of death in Mosul's Old City when Ayman Hashem came back this week to see what happened to his home. His neighborhood was unrecognizable.
"All that's left is rubble and the bodies of families trapped underneath," the 23-year-old said. He flipped through photos on his phone, showing picture after picture of wreckage. His own house was "cut in half," he said. He had to cover his nose with his tee-shirt because of the smell of buried, rotting bodies.
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Gunfire echoes through the pockmarked streets as Maj. Ihab Jalil al-Aboudi's soldiers fight block by block for the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, occasionally pausing to help terrified families flee to safety across the rubble.
KABARTO CAMP, Iraq (AP) — They made the captive children, weak from hunger, fight over a single tomato. Then the Islamic State militants told them that in paradise they could eat to their hearts delight, but they could only get there by blowing themselves up.
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Almost the only home this toddler has known is a Libyan prison. He already marked one birthday there and in a few days will reach another, turning 3. He is an orphan of the caliphate: His parents, both Islamic State group members, were killed in an airstrike.