Turkish company contracted to complete the project

Reconstruction of ancient Assyrian fortress begins in Tal Afar

MOSUL, December 11 — Officials in Tal Afar have announced the start of reconstruction of an Assyrian fortress nine years after it was destroyed, and pledging to restore the site.

ISIS militants completely destroyed the historic Tal Afar fortress in 2014, broadcasting the operation on its social media platforms.

In March of this year, the Nineveh Governorate approved the reconstruction of the fortress walls as part of allocations for food security and development projects.

The fortress, built during the Assyrian era and renovated by the Romans and Umayyads, had significant military and commercial importance. It suffered multiple destructions in 1841, 1920, and 2014.

Located in the center of Tal Afar, the fortress has four gates, covers an area of 28,000 square meters, and stands 25 meters above the ground. Residents consider it a symbol of their city and its cultural identity.

Raad Saud, from the Nineveh Antiquities department, said, “The project will be executed by the Al-Jouna General Contracting Company and includes, in the first phase, cleaning and debris removal, followed by the exposure of the foundations. After that, the walls and towers will be built according to the contract signed with the company. The construction will be in the old style to preserve the historical features of the fortress. The work is expected to take two years.”

Khalil Mohsin, Tal Afar District Administrator, added, “A Turkish company started today, Sunday, the reconstruction work of the ancient Tal Afar fortress. The beginning will be with the reconstruction of the external walls, followed by other stages until it returns as it was, or even more beautiful. The fortress holds historical and social symbolism for the people of Tal Afar, and its reconstruction enhances social cohesion and relationships among the residents.”