MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction during the war to defeat the Islamic State group in 2017. Macron began his visit to Mosul on Sunday by touring the Our Lady of the Hour Church, a Catholic church that was badly damaged during the rule of IS that lasted from 2014 until the extremists’ defeat three years later. Iraqi children dressed in white and waving Iraqi and French flags sang upon Macron’s arrival. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, became IS’s bureaucratic and financial backbone. It took a ferocious nine-month battle to finally free the city in July 2017.
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