Iraqi forces retake Mosul, the Islamic State's de-facto capital

Iraqi forces retake Mosul, the Islamic State's de-facto capital

Iraqi forces retake Mosul, the Islamic State's de-facto capital

The mood was less festive, however, among some of the almost one million Mosul residents displaced by months of combat, many of whom are living in camps outside the city with little respite from the blazing summer heat.

"The commander in chief of the armed forces, Haider al-Abadi, arrived in the liberated city of Mosul and congratulated the heroic fighters and Iraqi people for the great victory", the prime minister's office said in a statement on Sunday. The militants are expected to keep up attacks on selected targets across Iraq. The United States-led global coalition has been conducting airstrikes against the militants and assisting Iraqi troops on the ground.

The recapture of Mosul, which the AE had its main stronghold in Iraq, is the most important victory of Iraq in the face of the IS since the extremist group sunni had taken in 2014 of large swathes of iraqi territory.

The group - whose motto was "remain and expand" - has not conquered new areas around the core of its "caliphate" since 2015, has lost thousands of fighters and is less attractive to foreign jihadists than it once was.

A US-led worldwide coalition is providing air and ground support to the eight-month-old offensive to wrest back Mosul, once the de facto capital of ISIS in Iraq. In Syria, a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance is fighting to oust the group from the northern city of Raqqa after penetrating its heavily fortified historic center.

Iraq's Prime Minister has arrived in Mosul to celebrate military forces capturing the city from so-called Islamic State.

November 1, 2016- The army said it has entered Mosul city for the first time since 2014.

Much of Mosul's Old City and surrounding areas have been devastated by months of grueling urban combat.

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Mosul's liberation was "imminent", Brig Gen Robert Sofge said Saturday, refusing to elaborate only saying that "it's going to be very soon".

In February, they launched the second phase of the military operation on the west side of the city.

There were a large number of roadside bombs and booby-trapped buildings, in addition to IS snipers taking position in the buildings and narrow alleys of heavily-populated neighbourhoods, where thousands of civilians still live under the IS rule.

Troops from Iraqi Special Forces marked the victory by planting the Iraqi flag on the bank of the Tigris River.

The Joint Operations Command said "our units are still continuing to advance".

He has entered the city and greeted officers at the airfield - after Iraqi forces reached the River Tigris.

"We are seeing now the last meters and then final victory will be announced".

May 16: A military spokesman says nearly 90 percent of west Mosul has been recaptured.

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