Update #1

Today, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi entered Mosul to inform awaiting soldiers that the Old City has finally been liberated after 9 long months of conflict. Despite their resounding victory, airstrikes continue in the Western portion of the country, and casualties continue to climb well into the thousands. 60% of the territory previously owned by ISIS has been liberated by the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, but the issue of rebuilding still remains. According to the United Nations, an estimated $1 billion is required to reconstruct the city, while billions more must be spent to provide food, water, and medical care to the 60,000 civilians who have fled.

In addition, the ceasefire negotiated by the US, Russia, and Jordan was implemented today. This agreement targets supporters of the Assad government and Syrian rebels in the country’s southwestern provinces exclusively; ISIS members are not included. Reporters note that civilians in Daraa, Quneitra, and Sweida feel relieved, but many fear that few mechanisms have been put in place to honor the ceasefire agreement.

Sources:

Arraf, Jane. "Civilian Deaths In Mosul Lead U.S. And Iraqi Forces To Change Tactics Against ISIS." NPR. N.p., 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 July 2017. <http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/05/522792626/civilian-deaths-in-mosul-lead-u-s-and-iraqi-forces-to-change-tactics-against-isi>.

"Iraq war map: Who controls what." ISIS | Al Jazeera. N.p., 09 July 2017. Web. 09 July 2017. <http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2016/08/iraq-war-map-controls-160830115440480.html>.

Loveluck, Louisa, Liz Sly, and Mustafa Salim. "Iraqi forces declare victory over Islamic State in Mosul, but fighting continues." The Washington Post. WP Company, 09 July 2017. Web. 09 July 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/iraqs-prime-minister-arrives-in-mosul-to-declare-victory-over-isis/2017/07/09/75c421e0-6197-11e7-80a2-8c226031ac3f_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_mosulfall-947am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.b445af87cbb5>.

Press, Associated. "Syria Cease-Fire Begins, but Without Mechanisms to Enforce the Uneasy Calm." NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 09 July 2017. Web. 09 July 2017. <http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/syria-cease-fire-begins-without-mechanisms-enforce-uneasy-calm-n781131>.

Welle, Deutsche. "Iraq PM Haider al-Abadi declares Mosul victory over 'Islamic State' | News | DW | 09.07.2017." DW.COM. N.p., 09 June 2017. Web. 09 July 2017. <http://www.dw.com/en/iraq-pm-haider-al-abadi-declares-mosul-victory-over-islamic-state/a-39615759>.

#Iraq #Syria #Refugees