On a hot, windless summer’s day, a crowd gathered on the banks of the Euphrates to celebrate a significant moment for the region. The Fallujah Iron Bridge, the iconic landmark around since the 1930s, was finally re-opening.
Fallujah suffered greatly under ISIL occupation for well over two years. It is estimated that well over half a million people fled the city, and those who stayed behind were forced to live under a brutal regime. Countless people were killed, businesses closed, and vital infrastructure was destroyed. Among the casualties was the Fallujah Iron Bridge – blown up by ISIL, cutting off the movement of people and goods to and from the city.