MOSUL, Iraq – Iraqi Federal Police paraded and danced in the streets of west Mosul on Sunday. With the city largely under Iraqi control, security forces face the task of clearing many bombs and explosives left behind by ISIS.
“In the battle for Mosul, we have destroyed the barriers that ISIS worked on for two years. ISIS dug many trenches and planted many bombs. Thanks be to God we have removed all of these barriers and the city is returned to its people. We have promised the people and now we are declaring this good news to the people of Mosul, to you, and to all the people of Kurdistan as well. Returning Mosul to its own people is our Eid,” Colonel Rahim, head of the federal police bomb disposal squad, declared.
Final victory in the city has not been declared, yet. “ISIS is remaining in some alleys of Old Mosul, but we can say that the entire Old Mosul has been retaken,” noted Colonel Hamid Hussein, commander of the Rapid Response Force.
The celebration, however, brought a rare smile to the citizens of Mosul. Many children joined in the fun, dancing with soldiers in the streets.
The task now facing Iraqi security forces is to clear the streets, alleys, and houses of explosives. ISIS has often rigged booby traps as one of its tactics.
“Now we are investigating the districts in Old Mosul to remove the bombs,” said Karim Lami, a commander in the federal police, told Rudaw. He added that they had retaken Sanjkhana neighbourhood.
“There are many bombs in the districts of Mosul. We will remove all of them in a short time, God willing. In order to defuse them quickly, we ask people to inform us if they find any bombs,” said Colonel Rahim.
The Mosul offensive began on October 17, 2016. Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, and the US-led international coalition to defeat ISIS joined forces to defeat ISIS in the city.