Media reports: Mosul to be fully liberated by next week
10 July, 2017, 00:19 | Author: Gregory Stephens
It is nearly exactly three years since the ultra-hardline group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" spanning Syria and Iraq from the pulpit of Mosul's medieval Grand al-Nuri mosque.
Iraqi forces backed by a US -led coalition launched a major operation to retake the city in October 2016.
Iraqi civilians sit inside a house as they wait to be taken out of the Old City during fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 9, 2017.
Iraqi troops, who are supported by a USA -led global coalition, last week hung white banners and the country's flags on lamp posts and damaged buildings as authorities were planning a week of nationwide celebrations.
"We should not view the recapture of Mosul as the death knell for IS", said Patrick Martin, Iraq analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, adding the group "still holds significant urban terrain", notably in Syria.
The mood was less festive, however, among some of the almost one million Mosul residents displaced by months of combat, many of whom are living in camps outside the city with little respite from the blazing summer heat.
"Mosul liberated from Daesh", he tweeted, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
The announcement does not come as a declaration of final victory against the extremists as pockets of the group's militants remain in Old Mosul.
November 1, 2016- The army said it has entered Mosul city for the first time since 2014. Iraqi media reported Sunday that government forces had driven IS from all areas of the city, and are "chasing" them down in some of those areas.
Iraqi forces also claim that they have killed a number of ISIS militants as they tried to flee.
Iraq's state TV says the country's prime minister has arrived in Mosul to declare victory over the Islamic State group in the more than eight-month old operation to drive the militants from the city.
According to reports, throughout the Old City's streets, the bodies of ISIS members' who were apparently killed in air raids, were seen.
Without Mosul, the area under Islamic State's control in Iraq will be made up of mainly rural, desert areas west and south of the city, home to tens of thousands of people.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are trained, equipped and backed by the USA, have entered Raqqa from a number of sides. The U.S. -led operation to retake Mosul began and October and has already displaced some 87,000 people.
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The city, located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, fell to Daesh in June 2014. Although the northern city of Mosul was Daesh's main stronghold in Iraq, it is not its only base.
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