Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulates armed forces for Mosul "victory"

Posted July 10, 2017

That summer, the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appeared at Mosul's al-Nuri Mosque and declared a caliphate on territory it seized in Iraq and Syria.

It occurs at the end of an offensive launched on 17 October by the iraqi forces, supported by the global coalition led by the United States.

A statement released by the prime minister's office said he was there to "congratulate the armed forces and the Iraqi people".

Tens of thousands of army, police and counter-terrorism troops are thrown into the long-awaited offensive with crucial support from a US-led coalition.

When Major General Soleimani shouldered the responsibility of an advisory mission in Iraq at the request of the country's government, Daesh had been only sixty kilometers away from Baghdad and was considering capturing the city, he said.

A smiling al-Abadi walked among the soldiers, at one point grabbing an Iraqi flag and briefly draping it across his shoulders.

Iraq launched the operation to retake Mosul from ISIS in October.

French President Emmanuel Macron was among the first to hail the victory of Iraqi forces in Mosul on Sunday, praising the fighters - including French troops in the coalition - who had made it possible.

Washington, Baghdad, Mosul - Iraq will imminently announce a final victory in its battle to retake Mosul from ISIS, a U.S. general said.

The CTS and the army's ninth Armoured Division were engaged in heavy house-to-house fighting against the IS in the narrow alleys in the last two pockets of al-Qlei'at and al-Shahwan, a security source said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in the "liberated" city of Mosul on Sunday, his office said, after a gruelling almost nine-month battle against the Islamic state group.

But the fight grew tougher when Iraqi forces entered the densely populated Old City on the western bank of the Tigris River that divides the city.

USA -backed Syrian forces have pushed into the group's de facto capital, the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, but a final victory there could be months away, and the extremists still hold several smaller towns and villages across Iraq and Syria.

Iraq's Joint Operations Command said a group of militants tried to escape across the Tigris River from west Mosul, but 35 of them were killed by government forces.

After months of intense fighting that's gutted the city, the sound of gunfire is more sporadic.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are trained, equipped and backed by the USA, have entered Raqqa from a number of sides.