The Iraqi Army on Tuesday (July 24th) began rehabilitating one of its oldest military training camps in the country -- the Ghazlani camp in the south of Mosul.
The camp was severely damaged by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) when it overtook Mosul in 2014, before being recovered by Iraqi forces on February 24th, 2017, during the fighting to liberate the city.
The camp, which suffered deliberate destruction at the hands of ISIS, suffered damages to about 70% of its facilities, said Ninawa provincial council security committee member Binyan al-Jarba.
"The terrorist group used some of the camp’s buildings as a large prison for all those who opposed it or violated its orders," he told Diyaruna, adding that the camp was "a terrible site where citizens, especially from Mosul, were eliminated and tortured".
Parts of the camp were also turned into an ISIS training centre where fighters received physical training and training on the use of weapons and the manufacturing of explosives, al-Jarba said.
Before the battle for Mosul’s liberation kicked off in October 2016, ISIS fighters blew up many of the camp’s buildings and halls so they would not be seized by Iraqi forces and used as a launching pad for offensive operations.
The 20th Infantry Division’s command, in co-operation with the 15th and 16th divisions and the Defence Ministry’s Corps and Service Directorate, is responsible for the rehabilitation of the Ghazlani camp under direct supervision of the Iraqi Army Chief of Staff and the Ground Forces Command.
Ninawa province's service departments will also be assisting in the rehabilitation work by providing vehicles to remove debris from the site.
Since it was established at the beginning of the last century, the Ghazlani camp has helped graduate many classes of Iraqi army personnel.
The camp’s rehabilitation will "strengthen the army’s role and responsibilities ... against any terrorist attempts to breach security and threaten the safety of citizens", al-Jarba said.