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Jul 14, 3:37 PM EDT

AP PHOTOS: Drone captures Mosul's destruction from above

AP Photo
AP Photo/Felipe Dana

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AP PHOTOS: Drone captures Mosul's destruction from above

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MOSUL, Iraq (AP) -- For centuries, Mosul's Old City stood as neighborhood of densely built alleyways, homes facing each other across narrow and winding lanes. Now holes have been punched in that historic fabric with houses reduced to rubble.

In only three weeks from June 16 to July 8 bombardment damaged or destroyed nearly a third of the Old City, more than 5,000 of the district's approximately 16,000 residential buildings, according to a survey by U.N. Habitat using satellite imagery.

It took Iraq's U.S.-backed forces nearly nine months to wrest Mosul from the Islamic State group, and the cost was enormous destruction, especially in the western part of the city.

IS fighters had turned the city into a fortress, holding tens of thousands of civilians as human shields. Iraqi forces often turned to artillery and U.S..-led coalition airstrikes. The Old City was the last battlefield..

Here is a series of images taken with a drone camera capturing Mosul's destruction by Associated Press photographer Felipe Dana.


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