Originally located on the western banks of the Tigris river, Mosul has since expanded to the eastern banks, and encircles the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. The city has exchanged many hands since its ancient founding in 7th century BC. After the Ottomans were defeated in WWI, the city became part of Iraq, under the newly drawn borders of the Sykes-Picot agreement.
The population of Mosul has historically consisted primarily of Kurds, along with a large minority of Christian Arabs. The resettlement plan by Ba’th Party in the 1970’s forced many Kurds to leave, only to return after the fall of Saddam in the early 2000’s. This led to ethnic tension between Kurds and Arabs, at odds over property that was allegedly appropriated by the Iraqi government.
Islamic State in Mosul
In June 2014, the so-called Islamic State (IS) overran Mosul, and the leader of IS, Abu Bakar-Al Baghdadi proclaimed it to be a new caliphate. The Kurds fled the city, and now the only people who remain in Mosul are Sunni Muslims, living under the new Islamic caliphate.
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