The oldest bridge in the town which linking the west bank with the east bank on Tigris. The bridge said to be the oldest in Mosul, followed by the other four main bridges which have been recently bombed.
The iron bridge is what locals call (The old man and the Tigris) in reference to the American novel (the old man and the sea). The bridge has witnessed all the modern history phases in Mosul, started from 1933 where it was built, during the era of the British invasion to Iraq, up to now. The old bridge remembers, all the massacres and the prosperity that Mosul has experienced, throughout the last decades.
Al Shawaf uprising against the the dictatorship of Abd Al Karim Qasim 1959.
It was military coup led by the Gen Abd Al wahhab Al Shawaf. But unfortunately, Mosul uprising didn’t achieve its goals. It was brutally cracked down by the Communist regime. Many solders in Mosul were executed without even a trial, while the heads of the uprising were sentenced to death publicly. The warplanes have triggered debris that could be observed nowadays, obviously in Al Quzlani police station, south west Mosul, the stronghold of the rebelling Mosuli Gen. Every military clothing person was considered as target for the communists troops.
The old bridge also remembers, the flourishing Iraq of the seventies, where education , health care, social services and other fundamentals had ranked the highest level in Iraq history. It probably was the calmness that precedes the storm! Soon, the long term years war was to begin with neighboring Iran, 1980 to 1988.
Two conflicting regimes arrived to the power in Iraq, represented by Baath party and in Iran represented by the Islamic revolution. Here, Saddam claimed that he tended to stop the Islamic revolution extension to southern Iraq. But Iranian leaders had another view. The war had lasted 8 years. Million of both sides have been reportedly killed during that war.
The bridge reminds very good, the celebrations and rejoice that filled the city of Mosul post the 8 years. As kind of victory through Saddam’s lens, But for Iraqis it was the ending of the bloodshed.
The peace didn’t live long, as the Gulf war blasted into long term international embargo in Iraq ,known for Iraqis as the siege that had lasted from 1991 until 2003, where American led invasion managed of toppling Saddam.
Mosul has witnessed a kind of prosperity for less than one year, where the markets were filled by the foreign goods.
But, later, as result of the open borders, the Islamic extremists found their way to Iraq and to Mosul, particularly, got an advantage of the absence of a strong power that maintains the nation safe.
As well as, it has been a religious inciting against the invaders. The Islamic organizations have found in northern west Iraq a fertile ground in which they grew their seeds of hatred that would bloom later as thorns called ISIS.
The discrimination course used by the Iraqi government between 2005 and 2014 in Mosul has played a big role in expanding the general anger against the Shia led government that arrests thousands of innocents on charges of being linked to terrorism. Meanwhile the real terrorists are released on bribe taken by Iraqi army officers.
In 2004, the terrorism form of Al Qaeda managed to control more than 6 the police stations in the city of Mosul in a major turmoil known later, The year of falling of police stations. American troops before their withdrawal in 2011, have prevented the first terrorist invasion that could’ve killed the city, since then. But always terrorism finds a way to interfere among innocents, achieving its dirty goals through the car bombs and assassination plots that harvested the best journalists such as Wathiq Al Qathanfari and other brilliant batch of truth seekers. The highest number of killing journalists in Iraq was in Mosul, where Mosul alone, had buried about 50 journalists until 2014.
Many lawyers and professors, security personnel have been outrageously assassinated nearby their doorsteps and their work places. Others, on the sight of their family, terrorism had got into their homes, such as the journalist Qazwan Anass. his wife was injured, while his infant was shocked.
The weak role of the security forces, the corruptions and the persecution of the simple locals, they all contributed in enlarging the gap between the central government and the Mosuli people, resulted in handing over the city with the two its million humans on their diversity, to the forthcoming power, which is called ISIS that seemed its role is to devastate the city and killing its locals while nearly a million of Mosul inhabitants were displaced.
THE APOCALYPSE IN MOSUL, IN JUNE 10, 2014, AND THE CHARGES POINT OUT THE MILITARY COMMANDERS AND THE PRIME MINISTER WHO ARE STILL AT LARGE
In the beginning, it was a peaceful demonstration calling for the reform. But later, the demonstration leaders fled in seeking for a safe refuge, and the cities were handed to the new invaders!
In 2011, the Sunni Iraqi cities staged demonstrations against corruption and discrimination. The unprecedented protests engulfed the major Iraqi cities inhabited by Sunnis. The demonstrations lasted nearly three years. The government led by the prime minster Nuri Al Maliki of religious party background had described the protest as nasty bubble like, and they should stop it,otherwise they would be stopped by force. He said
The government found a way of inserting the poison into the legal demonstrations. So, the prisoners that had escaped from Abu Qraib jail, found their route into the unarmed crowds at the protest squares. It was a sort of the legal excuse for pressing on the nation to see that government should be using power to cracking down the demonstration.
In Kirkuk province, SWAT forces opened fire on peaceful protesters, while in Ramadi province, the leaders were arrested then atrocities followed .
No way for any step backward. The peaceful demonstrations now, are no longer peaceful, and the escaping criminals have stolen the microphone from those who called, one day, for the reform and justice to be done in the country. Those were kicked out of the squares.
In that very moment, Mosul was passing through the biggest wave of the violence and the terrorist offensive has turned the city off. It was the beginning of the event that would change later, the course of history in Mosul. Although that the likely scenario of falling which was more realistic that ever before, but Baghdad government didn’t respond seriously to the potential danger that Mosul might expose, according to the former governor in Mosul.
The former Governor of Mosul, Atheel Al Nujaifi whom relation with the central government in Baghdad and the military leaders in Mosul was complicated. Al Nujaifi published documents proven that he had warned the central government from the potential danger of a likely raid of what so called the Islamic state but his early alarm never heard in Baghdad.
Al Nujaifi also revealed that the day before Mosul was fallen, he conducted urgent meeting with the military commanders linked to the Iraqi prime minster. The governor highly recommended the military commanders to get fully prepared to face the radical power that was marching western Mosul to kidnap the town. He said that the military commanders weren’t serious enough about what it could be happen. They had claimed that they were ready to any kind of threat.
Meanwhile, ISIS elements were heading towards Mosul. They were about 300 fighters only. They did not plan to colonize Mosul. The city which controlled by three Iraqi military divisions, which made the idea of facing them as deadly attempt or a slow suicide attack. But, what happened that the Iraqi first front line western Mosul collapsed so quickly. The members of local police, bravely fought but they didn’t have enough ammunition and heavy guns.
A bomb truck sent by ISIS was enough to change everything, witnesses said. Mosul local police commander had been wounded, while the other members just fled. Surprisingly that the local police has resisted in the battle, despite of their being the weakest party among the Iraqi forces being sent from Baghdad. But, the collapse of the others what supposed to be the well equipped forces. It is what shocked many Iraqis. Witnesses said that after bomb truck, the course of the battle has been totally changed in favor of ISIS, in that very moment, the military leaders have disappeared, and the three military divisions have been evaporated. It was the night of 9 June 2014.
Witnesses said that ISIS cars were roaming the town’s streets back and forth, calling on local people to calm down. People didn’t have clear vision of who were really they.. Were they those who called for reform or Bath party supporters in a religious version or they were really the Islamic state that was founded in Syria, a year ago!
People scared from the idea that Mosul could be soon a battlefield between the conflicting regional powers. Next morning, it was the time that almost every family in Mosul to be displaced to the regions hadn’t been yet conquered by ISIS, in Niniwa plain, where it is the historical home of ethnic diversity. But soon, they returned to Mosul, when it was the silence the sole master of the situation, that time.