General view of the library of the University of Mosul, burned and destroyed during the battle with Islamic State militants. The University of Mosul is a public university located in Mosul. It is one of the largest educational and research centers in the Middle East, and the second largest in Iraq, behind the University of Baghdad. The University of Mosul was closed in 2014 but reopened just after a few months with new buildings and courses. Over 8,000 books and 100,000 manuscripts in its library were believed to have been destroyed. The university was considered to have been used as a base by ISIS and was hit by Combined Joint Task Force airstrikes in March 2016. Iraqi forces recaptured it in January 2017.