Rudaw

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Railway line to be built between Mosul, Turkey: governor of Nineveh

Work on a new railway line between Turkey and Iraq’s Mosul will begin in the coming days, according to a provincial official, despite much of the city’s infrastructure still in a state of disrepair from the war with the Islamic State (ISIS) and decades of mismanagement.

“The specialized engineering and technical staff, in cooperation with Turkish engineering construction companies, will start within days the laying of a modern railway linking the city of Mosul and the Turkish Republic in order to reduce the momentum on the roads,” Governor of Nineveh Najm al-Jabouri told Iraqi state media outlet al-Sabaah on Saturday.

The official did not release any details on how the project would be paid for or how much it would cost.

Mosul’s once bustling train station that transported people to Baghdad and beyond now rests as a de facto graveyard for rusting iron and overturned train wagons.

Wheels came to a stop when ISIS took control of the area in 2014, later using the station as a hideout.

By the time Iraqi forces retook the country’s second city in 2017, irreparable damage had devastated the station’s facilities, with the main building bombed and many train tracks pulled from the ground.

The Iraqi government pledged to rebuild and salvage what is left of the dilapidated station last year, but it is unclear if any work has begun on the site.

In a city that largely remains in ruins from the battle to reconquer the city, the railway is hardly the only structure to be rebuilt.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have filed claims with the government, seeking compensation for property destroyed in the fight.

Mosul’s fraught local politics, compounded with Iraq’s bureaucracy and corruption that has leached off reconstruction funds, has largely been blamed for the slow progress in resuscitating the city’s structures.

Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic, combined with plummeting oil prices, has rendered the Iraqi government in a state of struggle to break even through monthly revenue, let alone rebuild.

Tensions have been high between Ankara and Baghdad, since the former launched a military offensive in the Kurdistan Region and northern Iraq in mid-June with the stated aim of removing PKK fighters from its borders with the Region. Source