Mosul is a city of over a million people in northern Iraq, some 400 km north of Baghdad. It is currently the largest city controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyriancity of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial areas on both banks.
In the early 21st century, the majority of its population was Arab, with Assyrian Christian, Iraqi Turkmen and Kurdish minorities. The city’s population grew rapidly around the turn of the millennium and by 2008 was estimated to be 1,800,000.Although half a million fled in 2014 it was still over a million that year. With the 2014 ISIL occupation, only Sunni Arabs remained in the city.
The fabric muslin, long manufactured here, is named after this city.Another historically important product of the area is Mosul marble. People from Mosul are called Maslawis. The city of Mosul was home to the University of Mosul, which was one of the largest educational and research centers in Iraq and the Middle East. Until 2014 the city was a historic center for the Nestorian Christianity of the Assyrians, containing the tombs of several Old Testament prophets such as Jonah.
In June 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant took over the city during the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. As of August 2014, the city’s new ISIL administration is functional, but power cuts are frequent.