Mosul "liberated" following three years under ISIS control

Aaron Brown
July 10, 2017

June 29, 2014- The terror outfit declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in territories it controls in Iraq and Syria and demands allegiance from Muslims worldwide.

In February, Iraqi forces started a US-backed onslaught to wrest back the western section of Mosul from Islamic State, nearly a month after they recaptured the eastern part of the city.

Thirty IS militants were killed as they attempted to escape the advance of the Iraqi forces by throwing themselves in the River Tigris, state media said. Backed by a ferocious aerial bombing campaign by a US -led worldwide coalition, the offensive has turned much of the city to rubble and forced tens of thousands of people to flee. In some of the worst affected areas, nearly no buildings appear to have escaped damage and Mosul's dense construction means the extent of the devastation might be underestimated, United Nations officials said. The road where the soldiers celebrated was scarred with gaping holes from explosions and rubble from a flattened multi-storey shopping mall.

Mosul was the largest city that came under the clutches of the terror outfit and the battle for the city left thousands of civilians dead and displaced almost one million people besides leaving large areas in ruins.

The iraqi forces had captured in January the east of the city and then attacked the west in February.

"Mosul liberated from Daesh", he tweeted, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL. Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service, which has spearheaded the assault, said the jihadists now only held a band of territory 100-150 meters deep and 300 metres wide.

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Iraqi officials predicted the defeat of IS several times over the past week as forces confined the militants to a small area of Old Mosul along the Tigris.

Key dates in the offensive against the Islamic State group in Iraq's northern city of Mosul where on Sunday Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory.

Haider al-Abadi was quoted as saying he "congratulates the fighters and the people on the big victory" in the key city.

According to Reuters, Iraqi military commanders have said they are close to taking full military control of the city.

More than 2,000 militants are holed up with their families and tens of thousands of civilians in Raqqa's center, the city's most densely populated districts. An estimated 1 million people had fled the city during the lengthy battle and thousands were killed.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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