Saddam's dilapidated palaces a symbol of conflict

STORY: This crumbling palace once belonged to Saddam Hussein.

The intertwined Arabic letters for S and H are one of the last reminders in the once-imposing Lake Palace, named for an artificial lake that no longer exists.

Saad al-Wazzan is a local civil society activist.

"The previous regime under Saddam Hussein wanted to have several locations to run the country, as Iraq was going through wars and siege. Many presidential locations were built, including this one. These locations served as spots to run the state, host some presidents, and for rest."

Twenty years after the U.S.-led invasion, the palace is just one of many that stands in ruins.

While U.S. forces had used some of Iraq’s palaces as bases, all facilities were handed over to Iraqi authorities in 2011, according to officials.

Some facilities like the Lake Palace have also endured two decades of looting and shelling, including by Islamic State militants.

Renovations have begun on some sites, like the Tahaddi palace.

Part of the building is already being used by the University of Mosul, while another will be used as a museum.

But a full renovation is being hampered by a lack of resources.

That means many of Mosul’s palaces will remain in ruins, a symbol of the destruction and decades of conflict.