ISIS has recently lost control of the first city they seized during a rampage in 2014 across the Middle East.
Fallujah’s occupation was the terrorists group’s first step towards establishing its self-declared “caliphate.” It was reported that the Iraqi city held special meaning for ISIS. This made fighters reluctant to inflict damage in other cities that the group had done.
The level of destruction in Fallujah doesn’t match the damage of Ramadi. Ramadi is a city about 40 miles west of Fallujah that ISIS lost control of earlier this year. It’s still a shell of its former self.
Many buildings were left destroyed from all the fighting between jihadists and Iraqi security forces, which were backed by US airpower. Thousands of civilians fled during the onslaught.
Here are some photos of what the city looks like now.
Here is a view of a city street in Fallujah. As you can see, it was left in disarray.
Here’s a different view of a street in Fallujah. You can see how much debris has piled up. Some light posts have fallen and been left on the ground.
16. Buildings Destroyed
A lot of buildings and homes have been destroyed in the outskirts of the city. The foundation is all that’s left of some buildings in Fallujah.
Parts of the city look completely abandoned. In the photo you can see the damaged buildings from clashes after government forces recaptured the city from Islamic State militants in Fallujah.
In this photo you see a damaged mosque. Nothing but rubble surrounds what once was their religious meeting place.
Walls were blown out after government forces recaptures the city form Islamic State militants. Again you see how much debris has been left in the city.
12. Security Forces Celebrate
Despite the cities terrible conditions, Iraqi Security Forces celebrated in the streets after driving ISIS out of the city.
11. What Was Left
Iraqi forces observed what was left behind after ISIS’ vicious rule as they made their way throughout the city. In the photo you see a member of the Iraqi counterterrorism forces walking through the streets with his weapon.
10. Weapons Factory
A member of the Iraqi counterterrorism forces found this Islamic State militants weapons factory.
9. Explosives in Schools
Here we see a school filled with explosives made out of large plastic bottles and containers. The man in the photo looking at the abandoned explosives is a member of the Iraqi security forces.
8. Rocket-Propelled Grenades
Islamic State militants left behind these rocket-propelled grenades on a desk underneath a Dora The Explorer illustration in this school.
Iraqi forces also found militant books. Propaganda books, including textbooks for children, have been known to be created and published by ISIS.
Islamic State militants used the room in this photo as a prison. The cells were burnt out after government forces recaptured the city.
ISIS prisoners were actually kept in these small cages.
Iraqi-government-allied Shia fighters inspected abandoned sites, such as this factory. These fighters were supposed to stay out of the city during the ongoing fight for Fallujah.
Liberators of the city found signs that were left behind by ISIS. These signs were used to intimidate the populace into obeying its strict laws. In the photo we see an Iraqi security forces soldier tear up a signboard.
ISIS painted murals with violent themes throughout the city. Here we see security forces posing for photo in front of one of these murals in Fallujah, Iraq.
1. Underground Tunnels
ISIS militants built underground tunnels all around the city. This is a common strategy they use in other ISIS controlled areas. In the photo we see a fighter from the Iraqi Shi-ite Badr Organization holding his rifle through one of these underground tunnels built by ISIS.