Three years of occupation by ISIL and a protracted military intervention to retake the area have left the once-thriving Old City of Mosul in northern Iraq devastated by conflict and explosive contamination. The Old City is now deserted, covered in millions of tons of rubble strewn with thousands of explosive devices deliberately left behind by ISIL.
Of the 5.8 million Iraqis displaced between 2014 and 2017, nearly 4 million have returned to their homes, while others wait for their neighborhoods, schools and markets to be cleared of deadly explosive devices. Join us as we follow United Nations explosive disposal experts who venture deep into the Old City, putting themselves at risk so others may return safely.
When UNMAS first began work in western Mosul, they encountered an unprecedented amount of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Hospitals, bridges, schools and water treatment plants with contaminated with IEDs left behind by ISIL. IEDs, until removed, prevent the rehabilitation of the facilities that provide clean water, electricity and health services to the community.
Over 24 million square meters have since been cleared, allowing stabilization activities to begin, and enabling families to return home and resume their lives.