War eradicates and that is certainly the case in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Close to a third of the Old City, more than 5,000 buildings, have been damed or destroyed in the final weeks of the battle to retake Mosul from ISIL.
Across the city a further 10,000 are in in rack and ruin the majority in western Mosul, the scene of the most intense artillery, airstrikes and fighting during the past five months
Sattar al Jilehawi, volunteer with People’s Mobilization Forces:
“That’s our country. When we see, you know, our city destroyed like this, it hurts inside. You know. But there’s nothing to do, we need to cut off ISIS from this city to make peace. We came here to make peace.”
UN Habitat is using satellite imagery to assess the damage.
The mission to dislodge ISIL from their de-facto capital in Iraq has left thousands without shelter and destroyed schools and utilities the roads are now cratered dirt tracks.
Aid agencies are urging a rapid rebuilding plan with the bill likely to run into billions of dollars.
All five of the city’s bridges spanning the Tigris River have been damaged. The main hospital complex where a battle raged for more than a month is a burned out shell. Mosul’s airport looks like a derelict parking lot, booby-trapped with explosives by fleeing IS fighters.
In eastern Mosul, the destruction was less intense. More than 160,000 of the 176,000 people who fled the east have returned, according to the UN. Residents have begun rebuilding homes, shops have reopened and mine clearence is underway.
But west of the Tigris, neighbourhoods have been rendered into ghost towns.
Fewer than a tenth of the more than 730,000 people who fled western Mosul have filtered back.