Shias’ victorious taunts, vast battle damage and a lack of cash for rebuilding are critical problems in the former Isis stronghold
The body of a long-haired Islamic State militant lies rotting in the scorching heat. Blast-strewn cars and bullet holes in walls bear witness to a fierce firefight that took place in the Zanjili neighbourhood of west Mosul.
Once a stronghold of Isis, Zanjili is now a ghost town. Life has stopped and nothing moves; even the stray cats and dogs that roam other parts of the city, feeding on the dead, are nowhere to be seen. The eerie silence is punctured by occasional volleys of heavy gunfire from two Iraqi helicopters firing at Isis positions in the remaining militant-held pockets of the old city less than half a kilometre away.