Sir Michael Fallon hails campaign to drive Islamic State out of Mosul
10 July, 2017, 00:52
The iraqi prime minister arrived Sunday in the northern city of Mosul "liberated" and has declared a "major victory" against the jihadists of the group islamic State (IS), after a battle of almost nine months, according to his office.
More than 915,000 people have been displaced from Mosul since October, according to the United Nations.
The group, however, still controls territory in Iraq and is expected to revert to more conventional insurgent tactics such as bombings as its self-proclaimed caliphate falls apart. On Friday, the U.S. military officially confirmed a total of 603 civilian deaths in the US-led air campaign in Iraq and Syria, although independent research and human rights group estimate the figures to be significantly higher.
ISIS first seized Mosul in 2014, but Iraqi forces have been chipping away at jihadist control of the city since October of past year.
Members of the Emergency Response Division celebrate in the Old City of Mosul on Saturday. The attack was supported by aircraft and military advisers of the worldwide coalition led by the United States.
Air strikes and artillery salvoes pounded the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants' last bastion in the city as black smoke billowed over it.
In two weeks dozens of surrounding localities are recaptured, including the Christian town of Qaraqosh around 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Mosul. Diehard jihadists have been putting up fierce resistance in recent days, but their efforts to keep the Iraqi troops at bay look to be coming to an end.
Cornered in a shrinking area, the militants resorted to sending women suicide bombers among the thousands of civilians who are emerging from the battlefield wounded, malnourished and fearful, Iraqi army officers said.
"Mosul liberated from Daesh", he tweeted, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
Stripped of Mosul, Islamic State's dominion in Iraq will be reduced to mainly rural, desert areas west and south of the city where tens of thousands of people live.
January 8, 2017- Iraqi units reached the Tigris River that divides Mosul and took up positions near one of the city's five bridges, all have been destroyed. Earlier yesterday, Iraq's Joint Operations Command had said it killed "30 terrorists" trying to escape across the river.
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