Iraq announces ‘victory’ over ISIS, claims recapture of Mosul
Mosul: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Sunday and congratulated the armed forces for their victory over the Islamic State after 266 days of fierce battles, which finally liberated Mosul from the IS and ended its three-year rule.
The battle has left large parts of Mosul in ruins, killed thousands of civilians and displaced nearly one million people.
Iraqi forces, backed by US-led air strikes, have been battling to retake Mosul since 17 October last year. Islamic State militants seized it in June 2014 before taking much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland and proclaiming a “caliphate” straddling Iraq and Syria.
Mosul was the largest city in the caliphate proclaimed by the Islamic State group and its loss is a huge blow to the jihadists’ statehood experiment.