Pigeon fanciers in Mosul are free to let their pet pigeons take flight now that ISIS militants are being driven out of the Iraqi city.

Pet Pigeons Return To The Skies Above Mosul

Iraqis love their pigeons and whether it be for pets or for food, it's a rare highrise in Mosul that doesn't sport at least one pigeon coop on its roof. That all changed when ISIS militants captured the city in the summer of 2014.

The extremists forbade the keeping of pigeons because (a) it would distract men from their religious studies and (b) while on the rooftops men would be tempted to peep at women in neighboring buildings. No, we're not making this up.

Pet Pigeons Return To The Skies Above Mosul

As one might expect, the ongoing expulsion of ISIS from metro Mosul has allowed residents to resume normal lifestyles, including keeping pigeons on their homes' roofs and apartment rooftops. Mustafa Othman, 17 (above), is one such relieved pigeon-fancier.

Mustafa managed to keep his pigeons hidden but, according to his brother, Afan, “Every time he came up here, he risked his life.” Mustafa celebrated ISIS being driven from his neighborhood by letting his birds fly freely. “All I felt was happiness,” he said. He's not alone, either, and if doves can fly freely in Mosul's skies one would hope a lasting peace will soon follow. (via FOX News

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