The Liberation of Mosul


Military operations for the liberation of Mosul were undertaken by the Iraqi forces in October 2016, supported by the coalition in which France plays its full part. In January 2017, these operations took back the eastern neighbourhoods of the city.

What are the aims of this liberation? How is France contributing?

This article sets out the various aspects of this decisive battle.

How is Mosul a decisive battle?

It is decisive in military terms, as it strikes at the very heart of Daesh, where it believed it could build the centre of its haven in Iraq. It will help eliminate the threat posed by Daesh to all our countries; first and foremost Iraq and the countries in the region, but also to France and Europe.

Ideologically and symbolically, Mosul is a decisive battle, hitting Daesh in the city where, over two years ago, it set up its self-proclaimed caliphate of terror.

Lastly, this battle is decisive for Iraq. The objective of the battle of Mosul is to give hope to the people of Iraq that they will be able to return to their homes, for those who had to leave them, and to live in peace and security. It is by making immediate preparations for the return of displaced persons and working to prevent any resurgence of extremism and terrorism that the battle of Mosul will be a complete success.

Our background article on the liberation of Mosul

  • The protection of civilians, who are currently trapped by Daesh in Mosul and surrounding villages. The forces involved in operations to liberate Mosul must act with the express agreement of the Iraqi authorities, in full compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law.
  • Supply of vital humanitarian assistance to people in the Nineveh plains who are likely to flee from the operations in Mosul in huge numbers.
  • The preparation of an effective stabilization plan by the Iraqi authorities, the Kurdish regional government, and all local stakeholders; and immediate drafting of a roadmap for governance of the city and region, addressing the aspirations of the local people with respect for Iraq’s unity and at the same time its diversity).

Updated: February 2017

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