Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has arrived in Mosul and congratulated the armed forces for their victory over Islamic State after nearly nine months of urban warfare, bringing an end to jihadist rule in the city.
- It is almost exactly three years since IS declared its caliphate from Mosul
- The announcement ends eight gruelling months of warfare against the militants
- Without Mosul, IS’ influence in Iraq is reduced to mainly rural areas
The militants’ defeat in Mosul three years after taking the city is a major blow for the radical Sunni Muslim group, which is also losing ground in its operational base in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where it has planned global attacks.
“The commander in chief of the armed forces [Prime Minister] Haider al-Abadi arrived in the liberated city of Mosul and congratulated the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people for the great victory,” a statement from his office said.
Mr Abadi met with commanders in west Mosul who led the battle, but he has yet to issue a formal declaration that the entire city has been retaken from the brutal Islamist group.