There was a celebration in Mosul as Iraqi forces drove out the last of the ISIS militants who had occupied the city for a long time but, a top United States Commander in Iraq has cautioned the authorities that they must ensure that new terrorist groups do not emerge from the ruins. In order to do this effectively, the government must gain the confidence of all the people irrespective of the sect they belong to so that there is a team at work.

The present scene

Daily Mail UK reports that, even as Iraqi forces dismantle the ISIS bases and remove the last of the militants, there is no letup in the airstrikes in parts of the Old City.

This is in view of apprehensions that the fighters could have left behind booby traps and may have plans to attack the forces from an ambush.

This has actually happened because ISIS fighters, fleeing Mosul, have captured a village by resorting to tactics of guerrilla warfare. They were in possession of sophisticated weapons and have, reportedly, taken over most of the village which situated on the western bank of the Tigris River some 44 miles south of Mosul. With the loss of this city, the presence of the militants in Iraq would reduce to a few pockets and there are possibilities that it could lose the city of Raqqa in Syria. This is because Syrian Kurdish and Arab forces backed by the United States have already retaken major portions of Raqqa.

Humanitarian aspects

Reports of the United Nations reveal unbelievable figures of the people who have been affected. It is estimated that nearly one million civilians fled from the city of Mosul while across the whole of Iraq, 1.9 million have returned home. This, according to Lise Grande, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, was possible because of the assurance of funding to the tune of $1 billion.

The plans to retake Mosul from the ISIS militants was launched last October. It was a joint effort of Iraqi government units and its allies while the U.S.-led coalition extended necessary air and ground support. It is now up to the Iraqi government to resolve its internal issues related to the Shias and the Sunnis and take over the reins.

Shia Muslims are in majority and constitute nearly 65 percent of Iraq's population, and Sunni Muslims are roughly half that number.

The military strategy of retaking Mosul was a result of the thinking of former President Barack Obama and the Trump administration would have to, now, concentrate on the follow-up actions. Washington feels that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would be a reliable partner and, there are indications that the United States will extend support. However, with the ongoing civil war in Syria, the moves of Washington would depend on situations.