Mosul is Free: Passing Victory or Turning Point?

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 11 July / Jul 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Iraqis have the right to celebrate the liberation of the city of Mosul from the grip of ISIS.

For three years the city's inhabitants have lived under hellish conditions, and thousands have paid with their lives for the failure of the Iraqi authorities to protect them.

The policies of exclusion and sectarian discrimination practiced by the government of Nouri Maliki notorious contributed to the fall of the city into the hands of "Daesh."

Mosul is finally liberated, soldiers and officers rejoiced, and the remaining inhabitants celebrated in the streets, ending this terrible nightmare.

However, difficult times are ahead; the city is almost completely destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of its residents live in camps.

In the midst of these difficult humanitarian conditions, there are political aspects of the future to address.

Haidar Abadi’s government considered the liberation of Mosul an existential challenge, knows what challenges and difficulties await.

How the government addresses these challenges will decide the future of the entire government.

The plight of the city's displaced population at the hands of the Popular Mobilization Forces has become known and documented.

If the forces continue doing what they have done, the future will be all but bleak.

The people of Mosul, who paid an exorbitant price for the tragedies they endured, deserve exceptional treatment by the Iraqi government.

This is the least they can do.

They should be given the chance to decide the fate and future of the ruined city; they must be compensated for the financial losses they suffered.

So much has to be done to alleviate the scale of their humanitarian tragedies, after so many innocent were lost by the hand of the terror group, ISIS, or during the operations of the Iraqi army.

The biggest challenge is to manage rebuilding the destroyed homes in record time so that the residents could return as soon as possible.

At the same time, so much has to be done, in so little time, to restore services and functional tasks, from schools to hospitals, water, and other basics.

Moreover, the city’s facilities must be secured and guarded against vindictive attacks.

Daeshis will not hesitate to do anything just to scare the people there!

Mosul is indeed rid of the terrorists, but the whole of Iraq is suffering still the evils of their reign, especially the Western and central parts of the country.

There, Daeshi militants roam free, and even though they have given up Mosul, they will turn to prying new frontiers open in other parts of the country.

A comprehensive, national effort has to be driven wife to cleanse Iraq of this cancer and uproot ISIS from its roots.

The liberation of Mosul, at this point, has the capacity to carry out a nationwide reconciliation project to cast out sectarianism and restore the hope of a unified Iraq.

Such a project must incorporate mechanisms to sustain the full rights of citizenship to all Iraqis.

Iraq's borders with some of its neighbours is suffering from the deterioration of security measures.

Domestic stability cannot be achieved without securing the borders with Syria.

A significant stretch of the borderline with Syria is under the armed militias’ control, who failed to supress the flow of terrorists between the two countries.

In parallel with the internal reform workshop, Iraq needs to review its foreign policies, to ensure sovereignty in national decisions and limit external influence.

Iraqis should make a decision, now, either the liberation of Mosul is turning point in Iraq’s course of history, or just a passing victory of no long term, national consequence.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.