Iraqi soldiers killed in clashes near Mosul

Posted July 12, 2017

His statement was echoed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who vowed to work with partners and the United Nations to stabilize liberated areas of Mosul and return displaced citizens.

After three brutal and bloodied years, Mosul has been taken back, Iraq's prime minister declared victory over Islamic State in Mosul on Monday.

Amnesty said some of the weapons used by the US-led coalition and Iraqi forces include an "array" of air-to-surface weapons such as missiles, air-dropped bombs and cannon shells fired from fixed winged planes.

The top US commander in Iraq says the coalition may increase airstrikes and overhead surveillance support for the fight to retake Raqqa, Syria, from the Islamic State group now that the militants have been largely defeated in Mosul, Iraq.

Mosul resident Hind Mahmoud said by telephone that she had heard exchanges of gunfire in the Old City and seen an Iraqi army helicopter firing on IS militants on Tuesday.

Findings within "At Any Cost, The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul" claim Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition seem to have carried out "disproportionate" attacks, "killing and injuring thousands" of trapped civilians and destroying homes and infrastructure.

"But the loss of one of its twin capitals and a jewel of their so-called caliphate is a decisive blow", said Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the commander of the worldwide anti-IS operation. "But the loss of one of its twin capitals and a jewel of their so-called caliphate is a decisive blow", Townsend said.

But rebuilding the shattered city of Mosul and helping civilians will be a huge task, and aid groups warn that Iraq's humanitarian crisis is far from over.

"From here, from the heart of the liberated and free Mosul, by the sacrifices of the Iraqis from all the provinces, we declare the great victory for all of Iraq and Iraqis", Haider al-Abadi announced in Mosul.

Heavy fighting was still underway just a few hours before he spoke Monday, and it was unclear whether the last militants had been defeated.

Iraqi forces launched their campaign in October to retake Mosul, which was seized by the jihadists during the mid-2014 offensive that saw them take control of large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

The battle for Mosul killed thousands and displaced more than 897,000 people.

During its occupation of Mosul, ISIS destroyed numerous city's religious and cultural treasures, including the al-Nuri Mosque and the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah. The latest announcement came in a statement posted on Twitter.

Although ISIS has lost Mosul, the threat remains in other areas of Iraq.

Al-Abadi visited Mosul on Sunday to congratulate the troops, even as fighting still raged nearby.