On the first anniversary of Mosul’s liberation, it’s an important time to reflect back on the progress that’s been made in the past 12 months. We must also pay tribute to the incredible courage and resilience shown not only by the Iraqi Security Forces but also by the people of Iraq.
I am proud the Coalition — including the UK and UAE — supported the liberation and continues to provide support to Iraq as it works to stabilise liberated areas and rebuild them.
Daesh is on the back foot. The Global Coalition has helped liberate 98 per cent of territory that was once held by Daesh. But we know it will be a long journey for the city — and people — of Mosul to recover. That is why the United Kingdom and Coalition are committed to playing their part.
In these past 12 months we have seen enormous progress. In Iraq, 3.8 million people have returned home in East Mosul, thanks to Coalition-supported United Nations Development Programme projects in Al Zuhur, Al Qusor and Al Sahiron, water treatment plants have ensured access to clean water for almost half a million people.
Critical services are also being restored, including the reopening of Jamhouriya police station in West Mosul resulting in 75 police officers being deployed and taking over security responsibility from the local army.
We’re also seeing progress in terms of infrastructure. The rehabilitated Sayedatee Al Jamila Bridge has reconnected two vibrant neighbourhoods of Mosul, allowing 4,500 vehicles to cross daily. I also pay tribute to the UAE who, working with Unesco and the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, has started work on restoring the Great Mosque of Al Nouri to the symbol of beauty and religious significance it was before being damaged by Daesh. As Noura Al Ka’abi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said during an event at Chatham House in London on Monday, the restoration of the Great Mosque of Al Nouri is about defeating extremism — preventing these extremists from destroying the past and the present. A deliberate tactic
Despite these crucial steps on the long road to recovery, we know there remains much to do. Daesh left behind innumerable improvised explosive devices — a deliberate tactic to prevent the return of innocent civilians and to stymie our efforts to help cities such as Mosul recover. One year on, we are still working hard to remove those horrific mines. The UN Mine Action Service, with Coalition partner support, has removed more than 37,000 explosive hazards since it started operations in Mosul. There are still huge areas of the country that need to be surveyed before people can return. In Iraq, there are still 2.05 million people that need to return home. Removing mines and making urban areas safe will be critical in facilitating their return. So we will continue to work closely with Coalition partners to ensure that the people of Iraq can rebuild their country as quickly and safely as possible.
The elections on May 12 were an important moment, representing an opportunity for Iraq to build on the territorial defeat of Daesh. We look forward to the formation of the next government and stand ready to continue our support for the people of Iraq.
The Global Coalition has been a firm friend to Iraq and remains absolutely committed to supporting Iraq’s future. We have supported the Iraqi Security Forces to liberate their nation and at the Kuwait Reconstruction Conference, earlier this year, secured pledges of $30 billion (Dh110.34 billion). Our long-term support will be critical in supporting Iraq on its road to recovery from Daesh and ensuring its defeat is enduring.
Daesh is still a profound threat. Like the UAE, we are committed to its lasting defeat. But we are also working to stabilise liberated areas and support reconciliation, helping prevent Daesh’s return.