By James Cogan
The US-backed prime minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, went on state television Friday to boast that government troops had recaptured the Anbar Province city of Fallujah from Islamic State (ISIS) fighters. After weeks of constant air strikes and artillery bombardments, Special Forces units pushed far enough into the city to raise the Iraqi flag over the former government building.
In 2004, the American military reduced Fallujah to rubble as part of its ruthless drive to crush popular resistance to the US occupation of the country. Now, what was rebuilt is being reduced to rubble again. Video and photography from the city show scenes of devastated streets.
Freelance journalist Florian Neuhof wrote on Sunday: “Most buildings bear the scars of battle. Houses are pockmarked with bullet holes, sometimes walls have been knocked down by heavy ordinance. On the city’s outskirts, coalition air strikes have collapsed roofs and turned buildings into mangled shapes of concrete and iron bars.”