This is how the safe village of Bazkratan has been ruined and destroyed after fierce clashes between Peshmerga forces and ISIS as part of the (liberation of Mosul) battles, which took place in Al Khazir axis, south-east of Mosul, northern Iraq, early October 2016.
The school and the mosque of the village were the last line of contact, where fierce battles broke out between elements of the Kurdish Peshmerga of Iraq, supported by the Air forces coalition.
The remnants of the battle bear witness to the ferocity of the confrontation and the beginning of the decline of ISIS, which were extended beyond the borders of the Kurdistan region. The bodies of suicide bombers and the remains of explosive belts and “car bombs” still appear in the rubble.
Al Arabiya explored the location of the battle, the Bazkrtan School and Al Zahra mosque, but the most interesting was the battle of Al Zahra mosque.
ISIS militants took this mosque as a cover and a starting point for a network of underground tunnels. Al Arabiya went to the mosque hall to see the battle dust and copies of Quran above the shelves, torn and covered with dust.
In the courtyard, the scene was even more surprising as the entrances of the closed tunnels extend for about 6 meters.
The tunnels were not just a pretext for hiding passing points and ambushes, but were equipped with electricity and water, as well as bedrooms and more. They are also considered as Operations rooms and permanent shelters for the leaders of ISIS.
Here are the traces of life lived by the militants within the tunnels - their clothes, shoes, cooking utensils, even the sewing tools and a noticeable women’s watch.