An Open Letter to Al-Abadi

​Dear respected Mr. Haider Al-Abadi,

Good day to you,

I’m writing to you in English hoping that you might react to this message faster than the Arabic message!

In an unprecedented conditions, the eastern bank of Mosul is now liberated and free. The outcomes were outstanding by all measures. Our main concern of any violations committed by the military forces has diminished entirely when the Golden Brigade behaved in a highly humane and brave manner. The residents celebrated with the military the victory of clean and great battle, where the finest of Iraq’s youth, both civilians and soldiers, were sacrificed in this war.

Two and a half years where the city was dying under ISIL’s control, and the moment the military forces entered the city, all fear, tiredness and horror the Mosulis lived was gone.

We understand that there are many major difficulties to rebuild the city, and this require logistics, planning, and time to implement them, but Mr. Abadi, the reports we report every day about violations committed by entities considered part of the Iraqi State, has no goal but to ruin this victory that was made at the cost of the iraqi blood and tears. How would you allow such a deformation to steal our joy of victory from us? Many check points at the eastern bank and many areas people are getting humiliated, and large numbers of families decided to leave the city fearing uncertainty, possible violations, houses were robbed, young men being humiliated stupidly by members of the military forces in Mosul. All of this and the operations to liberate the western bank has not yet started! No proper security checking, no clear system to track down ISIL members and punish them! The residents on the eastern bank see ISIL members wondering freely in the liberated areas! Many times the residents report them to the security forces, but in a couple of days, they are released! We are receiving many reports that a huge corruption is undergoing now and many ISIL members’ names have been erased from the databases in exchange for huge sums of money!

In your opinion Mr. Abadi, who is after all this? And why do you allow them to steal our victory? 

I urge you to review what is happening in Mosul now and to take an action, taking into account the current circumstances that has become very dire and critical.

We all stand with you in this battle l, but also, we would like to remind you that the Mosulis gaining trust in the military forces occurred  miraculously, and we cannot afford to lose it again. 
With all respect and regards
Mosul Eye

What’s in the future for Mosul

​What’s in the future for Mosul?

An interview with the Combined Joined Task Forces | Operation Inherent Resolve – Col. John L. Dorrian.

Many have asked, since the beginning of Mosul Liberation Ops, about the role of the US-Led coalition in the operations. At first, there were some speculations about the US-Led coalition involvement in Operation Mosul Liberation, Until the former US secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, announced the US forces will have a “Heavy integration” during the second phase of the Eastern Bank liberation operations. Yet, to many of our page’s followers, that answer was not clear. Due to various narratives on this matter, We, in Mosul Eye, gathered most of our followers’ questions in regards to mosul, its current situation and its future, and directed them to the Coalition main command, known as “Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve”. We asked about the ongoing operations, the obstacles and achievements, the role either both the US and/or the international community will take to rebuild Mosul post-ISIL. We also asked about the displaced and if the coalition, with the cooperation of the Iraqi government, has any plans to accommodate for the displaced and their rehabilitation into Mosul post-ISIL. We also addressed the fears the Mosulis have about their city after ISIL, who will manage its matters, how the security of the city will be maintained, and the fear of ISIL coming back to the city in a different form. 
With all this and more, we wanted to have the answers coming directly from the news makes, the sources themselves, and Col. John L. Dorrian, the spokesperson of CJTF|OIR, was generous with us and answered those questions for us:
Mosul Eye – There are many official and media statements that are not quite clear in regards to the participation of the US-led coalition, US forces in particular, on the ground in Operation Mosul Liberation. We would like you to give us a clear picture about your participation in the battle for Mosul freedom on the ground and how that is important in accelerating the city’s liberation progress?

Col. Dorrian – Coalition forces on the ground in Iraq are only in support roles. We have forces that are on the ground to train Iraqi and Peshmerga Security Forces. We also have forces who are conducting artillery strikes in support of the ISF advance. The strikes are always coordinated and approved in advance by the Iraqi Security Forces. We also have a small number of advisors who support Iraqi commanders who are coordinating the battle to liberate Mosul. These forces are not on the front lines; they remain with the Iraqi headquarters, usually well behind the front.
Mosul Eye – Will the international coalition participate in rebuilding Mosul? Are there any particular projects in place to meet this purpose?

Col. Dorrian – The current focus for the International Coalition is defeating Da’esh, but the Coalition and international community have conducted several donor conferences where hundreds of millions of dollars in aid have been pledged by nations all over the world. The Government of Iraq will coordinate the rebuilding of Mosul, with support from the International Community. For example, the U.S. State Department hired a contractor to remove explosive booby traps from Ramadi. The contractor removed more than 22,000 kilograms of explosives from the city, which is the important first step to enable people to return to their homes. These are the types of programs that will occur; although the Government of Iraq will be in the lead for such planning efforts.
Mosul Eye – The issue with Mosul Dam start to surface again. Would you give us a clear picture about the issue? Does the coalition propose any suggestions or plans to resolve it?

Col. Dorrian -The Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources continues to operate and maintain the dam, including conducting grouting operations to stabilize the dam foundation.  It has a strong team of dedicated and capable professionals who have worked at the dam since its construction. The Government of Iraq has a deal with an Italian Engineering firm, Trevi, to make repairs to the Mosul Dam and improve its stability. Coalition engineers are working with the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources, to provide technical advice on the current contract with Trevi Group.
Mosul Eye – Many Mosulis are wondering about the airstrikes targeting ISIL targets in the city. Many of them were accurate and precise. Yet, some of them missed their targets, causing casualties among the civilians. What is your statement on that?

Col. Dorrian -We take great care – from analysis of available intelligence to selection of the appropriate weapon to meet mission requirements – in order to minimize the risk of harm to non-combatants. Coalition airstrikes are the most precise in the history of warfare. Mitigating civilian casualties is a key component of the air campaign and that is why we use precision weapons.  The Coalition has the ability to make precise strikes against ISIL targets while minimizing collateral damage on the ground and restricting freedom of movement for enemy ground forces. While regrettable, unfortunately, it is unrealistic to expect zero civilian casualties in armed conflict. In each instance, as a joint force, we apply lessons learned to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences. It is important to point out that the Coalition coordinates each and every strike with the Iraqi Security Forces before we conduct the operation. It’s also important to understand that Da’esh presents the greatest risk to civilians. They have purposely killed tens of thousands of people and driven millions from their homes.
Mosul Eye – What is your comment on the nature of the relationship between the Iraqi forces, specifically the Golden Brigade, and the residents of Mosul?

Col. Dorrian -The Golden brigade and other Iraqi Security Forces conducting the operation to liberate Mosul have taken tremendous care to protect the people of Mosul as they liberate the city. They have taken risks to their own lives in order to protect civilians from Da’esh atrocities, brutality and intimidation. Their bravery and commitment to the freedom of the people of Mosul is something that all Iraqis should be proud of.
Mosul Eye – Is there any cooperation from Mosulis to liberate their city successfully?

Col. Dorrian -Yes, Iraqi Security Forces have told me that the people of Mosul are cooperating with them as they advance, and they are being greeted with thanks in the neighborhoods they are liberating. As it becomes clear that Iraqi Security Forces will liberate the city, more and more people are cooperating. This is the natural progression since the people of Mosul have suffered for more than 2 years under brutal Da’esh control.
Mosul Eye – ISIL mostly targets the civilians while they are shelling the Iraqi forces on the combat lines. Why there is no civil rescue teams available to accompany the Iraqi forces on the frontlines to rescue those civilians?

Col. Dorrian -The Iraqi Security Forces are the rescue force for civilians in Mosul, and they have done an incredible job protecting civilians under very difficult circumstances. The enemy has created very dangerous conditions for civilians, but civilians can help the ISF reduce the risk by providing information to the Iraqi Security Forces, and by following their instructions and cooperating with them.
Mosul Eye – Will there be any military or civil role for the coalition in Mosul post ISIL?

Col. Dorrian -This is a matter for the Government of Iraq to determine. If the Government of Iraq would like coalition assistance and support, they will let us know what types of support are required, and the Coalition can make a determination if we can provide the support.  The Coalition is currently training security forces to maintain security once Da’esh is defeated in Mosul, but that mission is ongoing and will take some time.
Mosul Eye – The major fear the Mosulis have revolves around security, the fear of ISIL returning back to Mosul in a different form. Does the coalition have any plans or suggestions that help to put those fears to rest for the Mosulis?

Col. Dorrian -The Coalition’s position is that we are here to help Iraq to give Da’esh a lasting defeat. To assure Da’esh can’t come back once they have been defeated, we are now training new Iraqi Police and Security Forces who will patrol neighborhoods that have been liberated to assure Da’esh can’t come back. Also, once Mosul is liberated we intend to support the Government of Iraqi as the ISF eliminate Da’esh from all other areas they  now control.
Mosul Eye – As the operations progress, the displacement of the residents of Mosul becomes more and more overwhelming. What are the plans the coalition is assisting in this regards?

Col. Dorrian – One of the most important tasks is to defeat Da’esh in Mosul, because their presence in the city poses the greatest danger to the people living there. The International Coalition has been a steadfast supporter of Iraqi Security Forces who are fighting to liberate the city.  The Government of Iraq has the lead for planning and coordinating support to internally displaced persons. The Coalition works in cooperation with the United Nations to provide international support for displaced people.  Many nations contribute resources for rebuilding and the removal of explosives from the areas that have been liberated, so that people can return to their homes.
Mosul Eye – Many displaced Mosulis, and residents as well, are yearning for their return to the city. How soon Mosul will be liberated?

Col. Dorrian – It’s difficult to predict the exact time, but the Iraqi Security Forces are clearing the city as fast as they can. The Coalition is supporting their advance with air and artillery strikes to speed the advance as much as possible. It is difficult and dangerous work, and the enemy has implanted a lot of explosive booby traps which must also be removed.
Mosul Eye – Displacement is the worst fate in the Mosulis’ mind due to their experiences. Does the coalition have in place plans to rehabilitate the displaced, whether at the displacement camps or after their return to Mosul?

Col. Dorrian -The Government of Iraq has the lead for planning the care of those displaced by fighting in Iraq’s cities. The United Nations is arranging a variety of support for Mosulis to assure they have the resources they need during their displacement, and they are working with many nations to accept donations of resources to assist Iraqis in returning to their homes. Coalition nations have donated billions of dollars’ worth of resources to assist with this challenging problem.
Mosul Eye – One of the issues the Mosulis are concerned about is ISIL families and ISIL children, where some families have some of their members become ISIL members against their families’ will. Does the coalition has a vision on how to tackle this issue, and assist those families to reintegrate into their community again?

Col. Dorrian – The Government of Iraq will have the lead for addressing the needs of the families of ISIL members. The Coalition is partnered with the Government of Iraq to defeat ISIL, and we are currently focused on defeating this dangerous enemy before they do more harm in Iraq or in other nations around the world.
Mosul Eye – Does the coalition have a plan in place for the captured ISIL members? What to do with them?

Col. Dorrian – Iraqi Security Forces are the ones who will detain ISIL members when they are captured. The Coalition does not have a program for detaining ISIL members, because these fighters will be dealt with under Iraqi law.
And our last question is: We would like for you to speak directly to the residents of Mosul. They are waiting for your clear position on the current operations to liberate Mosul. What do you have to say to them?

Col. Dorrian – It’s important for the people of Mosul to know that there is an international coalition of 65 nations that has united to support Iraq in this country’s fight against ISIL. Mosul and all of the other areas that ISIL controls in Iraq will be liberated by Iraqi Security Forces, with support from the Coalition. We are committed to this mission, because we want all Iraqis to be free, and because ISIL’s brutal ideology cannot be allowed to spread further. Iraqi Security Forces have already liberated Falluja, Ramadi, Qayyarah, Sharqat and many other cities, towns and villages all over Iraq. They will also liberate Mosul. We are certain of this.

Mosul’s Passage of Death

ISIL announced that the western bank of Mosul is (Dar Al-Islam) (the land of the believers) and the eastern bank is (Dar Al-Kufr) (the land of the infidals), and anyone trues to cross to the eastern bank will be considered a “Kafir” (an infidal) and death is what one would face trying to cross. Mosulis risk a lot to cross to the eastern bank where the liberated areas are, and the cost they pay is too high.

The cost to cross is death, and staying at the western bank means death too. Families tried to cross over through the narrow passage that is less than a meter wide of the collapsed fifth bridge, but their attempt cost them their lives; ISIL killed the family’s father and took his wife and children just because they tried to flee ISIL.

Those who live on the western bank of Mosul are living death in every moment, where there is no water,no power, no food, no fuel, and no peace.

Mosul is now torn down on the middle of both its sides. Those who stayed on the eastern bank are living under ISIL’s mortar shells and snipers, and those who live on the western bank are seiged, trying everything to escape death with no success.

They lost the last string of hope, and the last string to safety and peace.

Last String of Patience .. what’s left?

​I know what Life is every time I talk to my mother. For instance, I know she is happy when I look into her eyes, even if she stays silent, I see her eyes rediant and filled with joy. Same way I know when she is sad, even if she smiles.

I called my mother today to check on her, and every time I talk to her she tells me she is fine, even though I know that it is not true. She knows that I am far now and safe, but still, she keeps on telling me to look out for myself and to be safe.

Today, and for the first time, my mother said a word that made me believe that she has lost the last string of patience, and lost all her power to carry on .. that is when she said “I wish I could die”!

For my mother to say this it means, without a doubt, that any possibility to hold on is exhausted, and the situation has reached limits beyond her ability to bare. For her to say this means that no God in heaven nor on earth, no sacred book, divine or pagan, can give my mother any consolation. And for the first time, I tell my mother that she is a believer, and keep her faith in God and she replues: “I wish I died before all of this”!

Heart Warming Letters from all over Iraq to Mosulis

​#Letters2Mosul

In the times of war, all what people think about is missiles, bombs, magic plans to end the war, and that is because, without a doubt, war is what occupies society’s mind at this point in time, but very small portion of society that thinks that civility is the essential element even at war. What is the value of war if it was not for establishing and maintaining peace?

To use a military weapon to spread peace is to substantiate the idea of the strength of civility and a tribute to patriotism. Not only that, but also to deliver written letters from iraqi sister cities to Mosul that will be preserved in history. ISIL has always bet on tge rest of Iraq is an enemy of Mosul. Today, this myth ISIL set is broken. Today, people of Najaf, Basra, Karbala, and Babil write to the people of Mosul. The ancient cities of Iraq are getting together for their own glory once again.

As I am away from my city, my mother tells me that a letter was dropped in out hime, signed by “Ali Kadhim” from Najaf reads: “I love Mosul because it represents Iraq’s history”. My mother tells me that such a letter came as a cool breeze of air in a helpless situation.

This is a pure civil experience, Iraqis where the sky carries their written letters to drop them over Mosul like rain, with love and peace.

People know the cost of everything, but only few of people know the value if things. ISIL was trying to cut Mosul of all its ties with the rest of Iraq, but they didn’t know that we have the sky to ourselves.

There is no safe place for ISIL to hide and the whole Earth is a safe place for the Mosulis, because their home is in the hearts of their fellow Iraqis, and where else is safer to them than Iraqis’ hearts?

Thank you the people of Babil, Karbala, and Najaf. Thank you the people of Basra, Kufa and Samawa. Thank you to all of you. Big thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Because of your words, my mom began to smile again and feel safe after her sadness and fear.

Women of Mosul – The Voice of Mosuli Women

During war times and peace times, women are the major victims among all social groups. She is called an orphan once she loses her father, or bereaved of her child, or if she loses her husband, she would be called a widow, and oftentimes, she loses a brother too.

But who sheds some light on her issues?

Since the invasion of Mosul by ISIL, the Mosuli woman issue has become one of the most sensitive and critical issues as thousands of Mosuli women are suffering under the rule of ISIL, hundreds of the Yazidi Mosuli women suffered ISIL’s brutal violence against them, as well as the Christian women were forced to depart their homes, and thousands of women are at the displacement camps, all of them are Mosulis.

Therefore, a group of Mosuli women formed a page dedicated to the Mosuli women titled “Women of Mosul”, to tell the world about the poor Mosuli and the challenges she faced and still facing, and to understand and study her social status now and post-ISIL future. This page is led by an elite members of the educated Mosuli women. Engineers, professors, teachers, interpreters and translators, and well educated women of Mosul, grouped up to represent the Mosuli women and their view of this ongoing war and the women’s role in it.

This valuable group will have a great role to play in the future of Mosul, and I encourage every Mosuli women rights enthusiast to check out this page.

Mosul Eye called to establish a women’s cell that is dedicated to the issues of the women of Mosul, and this page was the response to this call.
https://www.facebook.com/WomenOfMosul/

​Mosul Eye’s report on the second field tour to the liberated neighborhoods of Mosul

Neighborhoods included in this tour: Al-Muharibin Al-Qudamaa and Al-Zuhur

Date: December 13th, 2016

Mosul Eye person: Musab Walid

Purpose of the tour: Relief campaign

For immediate release

Report on the joint relief campaign to Al-Muharibin Al-Qudamaa and Al-Zuhur neighborhoods by Mosul Eye and Al-Lamsa Al-insaniya (Human Touch) and Ahallna teams

1- The relief caravan started moving at 12:00pm heading to Mosul from Erbil.

2- The number of cargo trucks participated in this caravan was 4 trucks, carrying about 3000 packs of bottled water, 600 food packages, and 1000 bread bags.

3- As our caravan was passing through the liberated areas from Erbil to Mosul, we noticed the amount of devastation and destruction along the road to Mosul because of the battles. Also, towns like Bartalla, are almost empty of its residents.

4- We arrived around 3:00pm to Mosul and went to Al-Zuhur neighborhood, where a new healthcare and relief centers were established. We were the first relief caravan arriving to the center.

5- Along the road from Al-Samah neighborhood to our destination at Al-Zuhur neighborhood, people tell us much in need they are and demand to distribute the relief at their neighborhood.

6- As soon as we arrived, a large crowd of people gathered around us, some even came from neighboring areas. Because we arrived a little late, we did not give away the relief packages, instead, we handed it over to the local relief committee to distribute it fairly by them.

7- The committee and the volunteers unloaded the aid to the center’s storage.

8- we finished our duty there at around 5:00 pm and went to another warehouse on our way back to Erbil close to Bartalla to store what was left of water packs as the storage at the relief center at Al-Zuhur neighborhood got full and couldn’t store the rest of water there. We arrived to Erbil around 8:00 pm.