Iraqi forces have regained the northern and eastern sections of the city, and have trapped the ISIS fighters in the western region. It is hoped that within some weeks the ISIS fighters will have been fully eliminated from Mosul. However, at a great price. Hundreds of thousands of Mosul residents have fled from their city, and known now as displaced persons, are in many camps scattered all over northern Iraq.
But after almost three years of ISIS occupation, Mosul will need incredible assistance to allow its residents to return. All of the infrastructure has been destroyed and needs to be either upgraded or replaced: electricity, water, sanitation services, security protection, health services, schools, and the like. It will be an enormous task to restore Mosul to pre-2014 days.
|A house hit bit suicide bombers|
However, some 200 families have returned to Teleskof and are beginning to rebuild their homes and town. This photo shows a house blown up by suicide bombers. While most houses were not bombed or shot up with weapons, they were damaged in other ways. Some neighboring Arab villagers came in and looted the homes of the Christians.
|A part of the town hit by bombs|
This Christian town was a hub of trade, small workshops, food processing, and government services. But some bombed areas will require massive amount of reconstruction to return to normal.
Some of the leaders of the group have returned and have begun to reestablish their town.
|A family which returned to their home|
|Inside the towns Catholic Church|
We then met at the offices of Caritas Iraq with a group of women from Teleskof who were living away from their town, and who were engaged in discussions about their past situation and their future. They were outspoken in their desire to return home, but adamant about certain conditions being met: there must be adequate security to assure them that no further violence would come to their town; the basic services would have to be restored--water, electricity, health clinics, and schools; and that some type of assurance that neighboring Arab towns would not create new problems for them. CRS continues to support Caritas Iraq and they serve many people jointly.
|A vast displaced persons camp|
|Young people playing volleyball in the camp|
[For more information on the wonderful work of CRS, visit: www.crs.org ]