THE city of Mosul was first subjected to the horrors of modern warfare 13 years ago when the West invaded Iraq.
The effect on those who live there is unimaginable, with hundreds of thousands fleeing their homes in search of safety.
A scorched earth policy persecuted by ISIS is responsible for most of the destruction.
However, the battle to retake Mosul has inevitably added to the carnage.
Now, after nine months of bombardment, Iraqi Government forces, backed by Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia paramilitaries, have finally forced ISIS out of their declared caliphate.
They overran Mosul, the centre of the Iraqi oil trade, exactly three years ago, supported by Sunni sympathisers.
Close to ISIS territory in Syria, and their trade routes through Turkey, Mosul became home to an estimated 8,000 jihadists, who funded their monstrous regime by trading Iraqi oil on international markets.
At the same time, they subjected the local population to terrible atrocities, including chemical weapons and, casual, brutal murders.
This week, in the wake of the victory over ISIS, a UN spokeswoman described how hundreds of women and children had been shot in the back as they tried to flee.
Unbelievably, others were sealed inside their homes as human shields.
Amnesty International has described the fighting as a ‘civilian catastrophe’, with almost 6,000 dead and 900,000 displaced.
The Iraqi Government must now attempt to reconcile Sunni, Shia and Kurds, and rebuild their shattered oil industry.
Meanwhile, the US continues to finance and train the Iraqi military.
However, ISIS is by no means finished.
Their malevolence continues to dominate in Raqqa in Syria, where more fighting and bloodshed beckon.