Iraq Faces the Tough Task of Rebuilding Mosul by Karen Leigh and Asa Fitch - Wall Street Journal
The day after announcing Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul, Iraqis turned to the enormous challenges of rebuilding and resettling the country’s second-largest city.
The municipal government worked Tuesday to repair and open roads in the western side of the city, where the terror group made its last stand in Mosul. Swaths of that half of the city were largely flattened in months of fighting, with streets impassable and basic services nonexistent.
“Our priority now is getting people home,” said Abdulsattar Alhabbu, head of the Mosul municipality. “Our focus is on west Mosul, where most of the damage from the fight happened. Our priority is bringing back the water supply. There is no life without water.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed victory over Islamic State in Mosul on Monday. The government declared a holiday on Tuesday and a week of official celebrations. But even amid the festive atmosphere, Mr. Abadi referenced the tremendous economic and security challenges ahead. An Iraqi counterterrorism forces commander said the fight to clean up the last remaining pockets of Islamic State resistance in Mosul was continuing on Tuesday.
Nearly nine months of fighting to drive the extremist group from the city displaced more than 800,000 residents, according to the International Organization for Migration. Many say they won’t return home until water and other basic services are restored—a task that will take at least six weeks, according to Hussameldin al-Abbar, an official of Nineveh province, where Mosul is located…