Photos show dramatic change Iraq's Mosul has gone through over last 8 decades

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

19 PHOTOS
Before and after in Iraq
See Gallery
Photos show dramatic change Iraq's Mosul has gone through over last 8 decades
This is a 1932 image of the Tigris River stretching out in the distance as seen from Mosul, northern Iraq from the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)
This is a file photo of smoke rising during airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants at the Mosul Dam on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. A trove of photographs now housed at the Library of Congress offers a glimpse at a different Mosul _ before wars, insurgency, sectarian strife and now radicals’ rule. The scenes were taken in the autumn of 1932 by staff from the American Colony Photo Department during a visit to Iraq at the end of the British mandate. (AP Photo)
This is a 1932 image of the Crooked Minaret mosque next to a Yazidi shrine in Mosul, northern Iraq, from the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)
This photographs shows the same site, without the shrine, on June 8, 2009. In July, Islamic State militants failed to destroy the 840-year old Crooked Minaret that leans like Italy's Tower of Pisa when residents sat on the ground and linked arms to form a human chain. (AP Photo)
This is a 1932 image of men on a lorry on the road to Mosul, northern Iraq, from the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)

In this photo, fighters from the Islamic State group parading in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle down a main road in Mosul on Monday, June 23, 2014. A trove of photographs now housed at the Library of Congress offers a glimpse at a different Mosul, before wars, insurgency, sectarian strife and now radicals’ rule. The scenes were taken in the autumn of 1932 by staff from the American Colony Photo Department during a visit to Iraq at the end of the British mandate. (AP Photo)

This is a 1932 image of Iraqi vendors and customers in the shoe market in Mosul, northern Iraq from the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)
This photograph, taken on Monday, July 7, 2014 of a man walking in a market, nearly a month after Islamic militants took over the country's second largest city. A trove of photographs now housed at the Library of Congress offers a glimpse at a different Mosul _ before wars, insurgency, sectarian strife and now radicals’ rule. The scenes were taken in the autumn of 1932 by staff from the American Colony Photo Department during a visit to Iraq at the end of the British mandate. (AP Photo)
This is a 1932 image of Lady Surrma of the Assyrian community posing for a portrait in Mosul, northern Iraq, from the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)
This image shows an Iraqi woman looking at a shop display in central Mosul after the Islamic State group ordered clothes shop owners to cover the faces of the mannequins on Monday, July 21, 2014. The shop owners said, apparently in line with strict interpretations of Shariah law that forbid statues or artwork depicting the human form. (AP Photo)
This is a 1932 image of a coppersmith working in the market in Mosul, northern Iraq, from the Library of Congress.
This June 22, 2014 file photo is of a fighter with the Islamic State group distributing a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book, to a driver in central Mosul. As the United States and the international community are grappling with how to battle the militants, who now control territory stretching from northern Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, here is a look at scenes from Mosul in more peaceful times and today under the rule of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo)
This is a 1932 image of Iraqis in the market in Mosul, northern Iraq, from the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)
This image shows demonstrators chanting pro-Islamic State group slogans as they carry the group's flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul on Monday, June 16, 2014. A trove of photographs now housed at the Library of Congress, taken in the autumn of 1932, offer a glimpse of Mosul before wars, insurgency, sectarian strife, and now Islamic State militants ravaged the city. The scenes were captured by staff from the American Colony Photo Department during a visit to Iraq at the end of the British mandate. (AP Photo)
This is a 1932 image of a lorry on the road south of Mosul, Iraq, from the Library of Congress.
This image posted on a militant news Twitter account on Thursday, June 12, 2014 shows militants from the Islamic State group removing part of the soil barrier on the Iraq-Syria borders and moving through it. As the United States and the international community are grappling with how to battle the group that now controls territory stretching from northern Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, here is a look at scenes from Mosul – in more peaceful times and today under the rule of the Islamic State Group. (AP Photo)
This is a 1932 image of a main street in Mosul, northern Iraq, from the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)
This image shows militants parading down a main road in Mosul, posted on a militant Twitter account on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting. Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, is now locked under the rule of extremists from the Islamic State group trying to purge it of everything they see as contradicting their stark vision of Islam. (AP Photo)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


By MAYA ALLERUZZO

CAIRO (AP) - Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, is locked under the rule of extremists from the Islamic State group trying to purge it of everything they see as contradicting their stark vision of Islam.

A trove of photographs now housed at the Library of Congress offers a glimpse of a different Mosul - before wars, insurgency, sectarian strife and now radicals' rule. The scenes were taken in the autumn of 1932 by staff from the American Colony Photo Department during a visit to Iraq at the end of the British mandate.

The photos show many of the sites that have now borne the brunt of the Islamic State group's wrath. Since capturing the city in June, the militants destroyed at least 30 shrines and historic sites they see as promoting idolatry and heresy.

Among the sites were the tombs of figures revered as prophets by Muslims, including Seth, said to be the third son of Adam and Eve, and Jonah, who in stories told in the Bible and the Quran was swallowed by a whale. One site the extremists couldn't destroy was the 840-year-old Crooked Minaret, a minaret that leans like Italy's Tower of Pisa. When the militants came to blow it up, residents formed a human chain around it to protect it.

In one of the old images, the Crooked Minaret towers over a street in central Mosul, adjacent to a Yazidi shrine. The shrine was gone long before militants overtook the city, but it reveals a time when different religious faiths could coexist here. Yazidis belong to an ancient sect that the radicals consider heretical, and Islamic State group fighters have driven tens of thousands of Yazidis from their homes when they seized their towns last month.

As the United States and the international community are grappling with how to battle the militants, who now control territory stretching from northern Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, here is a look at scenes from Mosul in more peaceful times and today under the rule of the Islamic State group.

___

RELATED STORIES:
France strikes Islamic State group's depot in Iraq
Islamic State plot in Australia raises questions
Senate next after House backs Obama on rebel aid

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners