After 10 months of fighting the Iraqi government has officially declared victory against Daesh in Mosul.
The defeat of Daesh should be welcomed, but there are serious questions about the military advance in Mosul, how civilians will now be treated, and how the city will be rebuilt. Amnesty International has called for an immediate investigation into the loss of civilian life to Daesh, the army and militias. The group have produced a report detailing 45 attacks that killed 426 civilians. Despite Daesh using human shields, neither the Iraqi army nor the coalition bombing campaign considered how to adapt their tactics.
The Iraqi army has already begun a process of vetting Mosul’s remaining residents, seeking out links with Daesh. Disappearances have been reported. Thousands of refugees remain in camps across northern Iraq, and thousands more are internally displaced.
The UNHCR said; “Many have nothing to go back to, due to extensive damage caused during the conflict, while key basic services, such as water, electricity and other key infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, will need to be rebuilt or repaired.”
While Daesh has been driven out of Mosul and are under serious assault in Raqqa, it is not yet defeated. The Shia-sectarian government of Iraq fuelled Sunni dissatisfaction following the 2003 Iraq War. Daesh can gain ground if the same issues affect the reconstruction of Mosul.