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History destroyed: The ruins of Mosul Museum

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So-called Islamic State took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, two and a half years ago.

Priceless Assyrian and Sumerian antiquities in Mosul’s museum were looted and smashed as representations of false gods.

With the museum now under the control of Iraqi security forces, the BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen has been to see the damage.

According to analysis by IHS Conflict Monitor, IS fighters have been losing territory since the offensive began. However, gains slowed when Iraqi government forces met stiff resistance in the city of Mosul.

Satellite images have revealed extensive damage to Mosul’s infrastructure, buildings and archaeological sites – in particular to the city’s airport and bridges.

Mosul airport

Imagery, released by US geopolitical intelligence company Stratfor in October 2016, showed how IS fighters sabotaged much of the city’s airport, with wide trenches carved into it and rubble placed along their lengths.

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