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  World   Middle East  11 Jul 2017  Mosul victory a historic moment, says Iraqi PM Abadi

Mosul victory a historic moment, says Iraqi PM Abadi

AFP
Published : Jul 11, 2017, 3:18 am IST
Updated : Jul 11, 2017, 3:18 am IST

Iraqi forces were earlier on Monday still fighting to eliminate the last pockets of IS resistance in Mosul.

Iraqis celebrate as they wait for the announcement of the defeat of ISIS in Tahrir square. (Photo: AP)
 Iraqis celebrate as they wait for the announcement of the defeat of ISIS in Tahrir square. (Photo: AP)

Mosul: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared a victory over "brutality and terrorism" in Mosul on Monday after his forces ended the Islamic State group's rule over the country's second city.

Flanked by soldiers, Abadi hailed the retaking of Mosul — where ISIS dealt Iraqi forces a devastating defeat three years ago — as a historic moment in the battle against the jihadists.

"Our victory today is a victory over darkness, a victory over brutality and terrorism, and I announce to the whole world today the end and failure and collapse of the mythical terrorist state," Abadi said in a televised address from west Mosul.

The US-led coalition that backed the Mosul offensive and is supporting another assault on ISIS's Syrian bastion Raqa hailed the victory, but warned it did not mark the end of the war against the jihadists.

"This victory alone does not eliminate (IS) and there is still a tough fight ahead. But the loss of one of its twin capitals and a jewel of their so-called caliphate is a decisive blow," Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the commander of the operation, said in a statement.

Iraqi forces were earlier on Monday still fighting to eliminate the last pockets of IS resistance in Mosul, with jihadist fighters surrounded in a sliver of territory in Mosul's Old City.

Attention was also turning to the huge task of rebuilding and helping civilians, with aid groups warning that Iraq's humanitarian crisis was far from over.

Tags: haider al-abadi, isis