Many people only heard of the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant or ISIL just four years ago.
That’s when in 2014 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stepped up to the pulpit of Moses thousand-year-old Grand Eleonora mosque and declared an Islamic state, covering huge swathe of Iraq and Syria.
Four years later ISIL fighters blew the mosque up, their last stand in Mosul.
They’re defect to capital as Iraqi forces closed in.
It was in July last year that Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi entered Mosul and declared victory over ISIL.
But the city he and his forces left behind was in ruins.
More than 90 percent of Western Mosul’s old city was destroyed in the nine-month offensive by Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition.
It’s been described as the most intense urban combat since World War II.
A year on the bodies of civilians and ISIL fighters still live decomposing under the city of rubble.
It’s littered with unexploded suicide belts, hand grenades, artillery and booby traps.
Few structures are livable.
There are no basic services like running water, electricity or medical care and little prospect of work.
Wherever you go, there’s awful destruction.
It’s impossible to bring our families to such a place where the smell of death is still lingering.
That left estimated 700,000 people displaced, many living in camps or among the rubble.
A high proportion of them are children.
Save the Children says Mosul’s youngsters are haunted by constant fear and intense sorrow, at warns of a new lost generation vulnerable to exploitation.
ISIL inflicted over three years of unimaginable horrors across the so-called Caliphate and in the historic and until then religiously diverse city of Mosul.
Reconstruction has yet to begin.
Only 30% of the estimated eighty-eight billion dollars needed to rebuild has been pledged.
Meanwhile discontent appears to be growing towards the government and the forces that came to liberate them, but who now seem to have abandoned them.