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In June 2014 Mosul became the largest city to fall to ISIL.There were reports that in Mosul, as in other areas governed by ISIL, non-Sunnis faced a campaign of kidnapping, expulsion, and murder by ISIL gunmen.After World War I (1914–18) the Mosul area was occupied by Britain until a border settlement ( 1926) placed it in Iraq rather than in Turkey.The city’s commercial importance thereafter declined because it was cut off from the rest of the former Ottoman Empire.Most striking has been the expansion on the eastern bank of the Tigris; there are now five bridges connecting the two sides of the city.

Those include the Great Mosque, with its leaning minaret, the Red Mosque, the mosque of Nabī Jarjīs (St.

it had become the principal city of northern Mesopotamia.

In succeeding centuries a number of independent dynasties ruled the city, which reached its political zenith under the Zangid dynasty (1127–1222) and under Sultan Badr al-Dīn Luʾluʾ (reigned 1222–59).

From its original site on the western bank of the Tigris River, the modern city expanded to the eastern bank and now encircles the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh.

Located 225 miles (362 km) northwest of Baghdad, Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and constitutes the chief commercial centre of the northwestern portion of the country.

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