The battle over #Mosul has been ongoing since October of last year, a huge and densely populated city that became central to the Islamic State's caliphate in early 2014. Now, with the help of U.S.-led coalition air strikes, Iraqi troops feel they are finally at the end of the battle with the militant group, saying that they have the fighters trapped within a square mile of city. Commanders say that a sign of the militants being on their last legs are with their tactics to send female suicide bombers towards Iraqi soldiers. As civilians have been fleeing the city in droves, there are reports that Iraqis are returning to their homes and their businesses with some already in operation.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Return to Mosul organized on Facebook

Iraqi forces were hoping for a symbolic end to the fighting this year with the end of Ramadan.But the terrorist group showed that they were not about to give them a win by destroying the mosque where their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had declared his caliphate. While Iraqi forces planted the flag of #Iraq as a sign of victory across from where the mosque once was -- according to Arabic-American news service al Hurra, three Iraqis took to Facebook to organize a show of solidarity and were able to get 1700 people to show up to return to Mosul in time for Eid al-Fitr. The Ministry of Transport worked together with the Ministry of the Interior to provide and secure 14 buses. Unfortunately, the authorities in the Nineveh province reduced the number to 300 for security reasons.

Advertisements

Restoring Mosul's culture

Those who organized the convoy were looking to rejoin old friends who have been trapped under the oppressive Islamic State. It's been reported that this was the first time in three years that the people of Mosul were able to celebrate. The event was filled with live music, poetry and some theater which has been forbidden by the terror group. They also reportedly brought 1,000 books to promote a culture of education to the city. According to the Guardian, in an article titled "ISIS destroys thousands of books ad manuscripts in Mosul libraries", the extremists did exactly that in February of 2015.

It's been said that groups such as ISIS exploit the sectarianism that takes place in the Middle East often putting Sunni and Shia Muslims against each other. The coalition of forces what have been liberating cities in Iraq have been working on a campaign to make sure they can eradicate sectarianism. The group of Iraqis who put on the event, chanted that both Sunnis and Shias were together in their victory against ISIS. Here's footage of the Eid al-Fitr celebration organized by Facebook users.

#Eid Al Fitr