By Tom Miles
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S. forces have begun reducing their numbers in Iraq after Iraqi authorities declared victory over Islamic State, an Iraqi government spokesman said on Monday.
As residents return to the war torn city of Mosul, the Iraqi government is assessing the high cost to re-build. After three years of ISIS control and months of battles to reclaim territories, an estimated $100 billion is needed to begin rebuilding cities throughout the Arab nation.
The city of Mosul is celebrating its first post Islamic state Christmas. The war torn area was liberated from ISIS earlier this year, allowing many Iraqi Christians to peacefully celebrate the holiday for the first time in years. Thousands of Christians have fled the area since 2014, when ISIS took hold of Mosul. On Christmas Eve, dozens of families gathered in Saint Paul’s Church praying for peace and stability.
A new report reveals more civilians were killed in the final battle for Mosul than ISIS fighters. The Associated Press revealed more than 5,000 civilians died in the fight to reclaim the Iraqi city.
(Reuters) – It was an awkward coalition riven by political and sectarian differences, facing an elusive, fanatical enemy dug into an urban maze of narrow streets and alleyways.
By Ahmed Rasheed
By Thaier Al-Sudani, Kawa Omar and Ahmed Rasheed
By Thaier Al-Sudani and Kawa Omar