Airstrikes target Islamic State positions on the edge of the Old City a day after Iraq's prime minister declared "total victory" in Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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Once the beating heart of Iraq's second-largest metropolis, the Old City of Mosul is now a broken wreck, its winding streets piled high with rubble and hardly a building spared from destruction. After months of grueling battles to retake Mosul from Daesh (ISIS), the Old City has become a bleak landscape of gutted buildings, crumbling concrete and the pockmarked mosque domes.Monday, fighters with Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service were battling to dislodge the last militant holdouts from a handful of buildings in the Old City.In the courtyard of the ancient Grand Al-Nouri Mosque, the venerable building blown up by Daesh as Iraqi forces advanced, the air filled with an appetizing smell as volunteers prepared skewers of meat for Iraqi forces.
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