MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – Almost two years after Iraqi forces recaptured the city of Mosul from ISIS , small shops selling alcohol are reopening their doors and new ones are appearing.
Customers purchase bottles or cans of liquor which are then placed in black plastic bags, or emptied out into nondescript plastic bottles.
Mosul was home to two million people before being overrun in 2014 by IS, which proclaimed a “caliphate” stretching into neighbouring Syria. It held Mosul for three years.
Under the militant group’s strict rule, items such as alcohol and cigarettes were banned. Shops that sold alcohol were burned down and destroyed.
Liquor store owner Nemat Hassan said IS burned his store down in the city. “There was more than $40,000 worth of stock. They burned it,” he said.
Since the city was recaptured, some have decided to return to what remains of their homes and rebuild their stores. Hassan reopened his shop and said he hasn’t faced any problems.
“When we came back after ISIS ,the security forces were controlling Mosul. There are no problems, thank God. There have been no threats by any groups, no problems in Mosul.”