Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) An official in Nineveh has suggested to turn western Mosul’s Old City into an archaeological site, and to relocate its residents to another nearby district.
Abdul-Sattar al-Habbu, head of the Nineveh municipality, said Tueday that the medieval Old City endured the most serious damages from Iraqi forces battles against the Islamic State.
“There are difficulties regarding reconstruction efforts there,” Habbu told Alghad Press. “Houses are dilapidated, and more than half of them are destroyed. It is difficult to made any modifications at any part of them as it would destroy what is left of monuments,” the official added.
Habbu suggested to set up an alternative residential area in Ghozlani district, south of the western side of Mosul, to shelter the the Old City’s displaced residents. The war in Mosul has displaced more than 900.000 people.
The Iraqi government declared victory over the Islamic State militants earlier this month, concluding an eight-month campaign to retake the city.
The district’s medieval Nuri al-Kabir Mosque was recaptured late June. It was the place from where Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the group’s control over a third of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Hours before the Iraqi troops took over the mosque, IS members blew up its centuries-old “Hadba” (hunchback) minaret, stirring an international outcry.
Since taking over large areas of Iraq in 2014, IS members posted movies of themselves axing down priceless monuments at Mosul’s museum as well as other archaeological sites.
Nineveh governor Nawfal al-Sultan said Tuesday destruction inflicted 70 percent of Mosul due to military operations and Islamic State sabotage.