The Prime Minister Haider Abadi has arrived in the city where 900,000 have been displaced to praise the “heroic fighters and the Iraqi people to achieve the great victory”
Iraq has declared victory over ISIS in the city of Mosul after bloody eight-month battle to recapture it from terrorists.
The Prime Minister, Haider Abadi, arrived in the city one day after Iraqi state television said victory was “within hours”.
His office wrote on Twitter: “Prime Minister Dr. Haider Abadi arrives in the liberated city of Mosul and blesses the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people to achieve the great victory.”
The city was overrun in 2014 when ISIS declared its caliphate and a mission to recapture the city – backed by the US – began in October last year.
Iraqi special forces are closing in on the last remnants of ISIS in Mosul, fighting savage encounters in an area only the size of two football pitches.
Senior army commanders do not expect any of the fanatics will surrender in their last-stand battle around the al-Nouri Mosque – now dubbed “ISIS’s ground zero”.
The ISIS fighters are now surrounded by tough soldiers from the Iraqi army’s elite Golden Division.
Estimates vary on how many fanatics are still alive in a shrinking, constantly shifting battle zone.
Iraqi generals believe there are more than 1,000 left but many are mortally wounded and dying as their lunatic fellow terrorists battle to hang on to the bitter end.
Other observers suspect there is just a handful of fighters left, maybe no more than 100.
Months of urban warfare have displaced 900,000 people, about half the city’s pre-war population and killed thousands, according to aid organisations.
Without Mosul, ISIS is confined to rural areas of Iraq’s desert.