It is hard to believe anything more catastrophic could befall Iraq with perhaps three million dead, between the strangulating 1990 onward embargo and the illegal 2003 invasion. Nearly five million displaced since 2003, destruction of the UNESCO Award winning education system, as access to electricity, safe water – access to normality.
Destroyed or damaged by ISIS have been the eye wateringly haunting ancient sites in or near Mosul (dating back to 25th century BC), 3rd or second century BC in Northern Iraq: Hatra, 3rd or 2nd century BC; Nineveh, the Assyrian Capital; Nimrud, founded 3,500 years ago; Khorsabad, built between 717 -706 BC; the 4th century Mar Behnam Monastry. The 1226 CE (AD) Mosque of the Prophet Yunus (Jonah) and his tomb are no more and numerous other wonders are erased, as are museums and ancient literary treasures.
Before ISIS, under US-UK occupation there was equal decimation under their bombs – and looting at their hands or under their watch.
Now though comes a truly apocalyptic warning – that Mosul itself, Baji, Tikrit, ancient Samarra whose ninth century, golden domed Mosque was destroyed under US eyes (literally, since they were stationed there) on 22nd February 2006 and Baghdad, the “Paris of the 9th century” could be engulfed in a flood of literally biblical proportions.
“Iraqi engineers involved in building the Mosul Dam thirty years ago have warned that the risk of its imminent collapse …” (1) All cities, towns, villages on trajectory of the great Tigris river below the Dam would be swamped, with Mosul engulfed within four hours in an estimated sixty five feet (twenty metres) of water. Estimates are that it is possible one million people could die by the time the tsunami reached Baghdad.