Mosul was the chief city of N Mesopotamia from the 8th to 13th cent., when it was devastated by the Mongols. The city remained poor and shabby through its occupation by the Persians (1508) and the Turks (1534–1918). Under the British occupation and mandate (1918–32) it regained its stature as the chief city of the region. Its possession by Iraq was disputed by Turkey (1923–25) but was confirmed by the League of Nations (1926). Many of Mosul's historic mosques and shrines as well as an ancient monastery nearby were destroyed by Islamic State militants after they captured the city in 2014. The Iraqi government began an offensive to retake Mosul in late 2016, winning control of the city by mid-2017. Thousands died and much of W Mosul, including the old city, was reduced to rubble in the fighting.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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