Pulse.ng logo
Go

This is what ISIS' longest-held Iraqi city looked like after years of occupation

  • Published:

Over the summer, ISIS lost control of the first city it seized during its 2014 rampage across the Middle East.

The occupation of Fallujah was the terrorist group's first step toward establishing its self-declared "caliphate." The Iraqi city reportedly held a special meaning for ISIS, making fighters reluctant to inflict the type of damage the group had done in other cities.

But while the level of destruction in Fallujah doesn't match that of Ramadi, a city about 40 miles west of Fallujah that ISIS lost control of earlier this year, the city is still a shell of its former self.

The fighting between the jihadists and Iraqi security forces (backed by US airpower) left many buildings destroyed, and thousands of civilians fled during the onslaught.

Reuters has photos of what the city looks like now.

Some of the streets were in disarray.

Some of the streets were in disarray. play

Some of the streets were in disarray.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


Debris piled up.

Debris piled up. play

Debris piled up.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


Buildings were destroyed.

Buildings were destroyed. play

Buildings were destroyed.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


Some parts of the city looked abandoned.

Some parts of the city looked abandoned. play

Some parts of the city looked abandoned.

(REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)


This mosque was damaged.

This mosque was damaged. play

This mosque was damaged.

(REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)


Some walls were blown out.

Some walls were blown out. play

Some walls were blown out.

(REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)


But still, Iraqi Security Forces celebrated in the streets after ISIS was driven from the city.

But still, Iraqi Security Forces celebrated in the streets after ISIS was driven from the city. play

But still, Iraqi Security Forces celebrated in the streets after ISIS was driven from the city.



Iraqi forces made their way through the city and observed what was left behind from ISIS' brutal rule.

Iraqi forces made their way through the city and observed what was left behind from ISIS' brutal rule. play

Iraqi forces made their way through the city and observed what was left behind from ISIS' brutal rule.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


They found this weapons factory.

They found this weapons factory. play

They found this weapons factory.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


And a school filled with explosives.

And a school filled with explosives. play

And a school filled with explosives.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


The militants left behind rocket-propelled grenades on a desk underneath a "Dora the Explorer" illustration in this school.

The militants left behind rocket-propelled grenades on a desk underneath a "Dora the Explorer" illustration in this school. play

The militants left behind rocket-propelled grenades on a desk underneath a "Dora the Explorer" illustration in this school.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


Iraqi forces also found books belonging to the militants. ISIS has been known to create and publish propaganda books, including textbooks for children.

Iraqi forces also found books belonging to the militants. ISIS has been known to create and publish propaganda books, including textbooks for children. play

Iraqi forces also found books belonging to the militants. ISIS has been known to create and publish propaganda books, including textbooks for children.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


This room was used as a prison.

This room was used as a prison. play

This room was used as a prison.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


Prisoners were kept in these cages.

Prisoners were kept in these cages. play

Prisoners were kept in these cages.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


Iraqi-government-allied Shia fighters, who were supposed to stay out of the city center while the fight for Fallujah was ongoing, inspected abandoned sites.

Iraqi-government-allied Shia fighters, who were supposed to stay out of the city center while the fight for Fallujah was ongoing, inspected abandoned sites. play

Iraqi-government-allied Shia fighters, who were supposed to stay out of the city center while the fight for Fallujah was ongoing, inspected abandoned sites.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


The city's liberators found signs left behind by ISIS, which the group used to intimidate the populace into obeying its strict laws.

The city's liberators found signs left behind by ISIS, which the group used to intimidate the populace into obeying its strict laws. play

The city's liberators found signs left behind by ISIS, which the group used to intimidate the populace into obeying its strict laws.

(REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)


Here, security forces posed for a photo in front of murals ISIS had painted with themes of violence.

Here, security forces posed for a photo in front of murals ISIS had painted with themes of violence. play

Here, security forces posed for a photo in front of murals ISIS had painted with themes of violence.

(REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)


The militants also built underground tunnels around Fallujah, as they have in other areas under ISIS control.

The militants also built underground tunnels around Fallujah, as they have in other areas under ISIS control. play

The militants also built underground tunnels around Fallujah, as they have in other areas under ISIS control.

(Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters)


X
Advertisement