Ben Wedeman, CNN: Will ISIS be pushed easily from Mosul after 'mother of all battles'?
Baghdad (CNN)"It is a splendid city, beautifully built," a famous Muslim geographer once wrote.
"The climate is pleasant, the water healthy. Highly renowned, and of great antiquity, it is possessed of excellent markets and inns, and is inhabited by many personages of account, and learned men."
The author, Mohamed Al-Maqdisi, writing in the 10th century, was waxing eloquent about the Iraqi city of Mosul.
It has been a while since anyone spoke of Mosul in such pleasant terms. Recent history -- a thin slice of time for a city almost 3,000 years old -- recalls it was the site of intense fighting between U.S. troops and Iraqi insurgents, followed by the June 2014 surprise ISIS take over of this and a string of other cities, followed by the near collapse of Iraq's army.
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WNU Editor: A sobering assessment on what is next for Mosul ... bottom line .... death and destruction on a scale that has not been seen since the rise of the Islamic State.