Digital Globe, a commercial satellite company, recently released a series of bird's-eye images of Mosul before and after the government-led siege of the city. The first set of photos was taken in 2015, when Mosul was firmly in the grip of the Islamic State. The second set shows how the battle to remove the jihadists laid waste to the city.
Part of the damage is the direct result of the militant group's tactics.They desecrated numerous ancient sites in and around the city that, in their puritanical version of Islam, they viewed to be heretical. They hid behind civilians — and in civilian institutions like schools and hospitals — as airstrikes pummeled their positions. And they deployed myriad booby traps and suicide car bombs in their grim defense against the combined efforts of Iraqi government troops, Kurdish forces and other allied militias.
As The Post reported, the Islamic State mined and booby-trapped vast sections of the city. The battles have left behind debris fields littered with unexploded ordnance, including hand grenades and artillery shells. The very act of rebuilding will be fraught with risk.