Greek businessmen helping in recovery of war-torn Iraqi city of Mosul

In June, 2014, the instructions were clear: Stay away from Mosul. The city, Iraq's second largest, had just been captured by the so-called Islamic State, whose fighters faced virtually no resistance in doing so. "Whoever has business in Mosul or Kirkuk no longer has a reason to be there," the only Greek official in the region told Greek residents of Iraqi Kurdistan, who mainly comprised entrepreneurs in the construction and building materials trade.

Three years later, after nine months of siege, bombardment and fighting to take back Mosul street by street, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared victory. Once the fighting stopped, however, the scale of the destruction was shocking. Homes, streets and entire neighborhoods were in complete ruin.

A Greek businessman, who spoke to Kathimerini on the phone and asked that his name not be published for...

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