Iraq PM Abadi Arrives in Mosul to Declare ‘Victory’ Over ISIS
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul to declare victory over ISIS in the city, his office said.
Small bags of fighting were still close to the Tigris, but activists must be beaten, a NBC News spokesman said.
“Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Prime Minister) Haider al-Abadi arrived in the liberated city of Mosul and congratulated the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people for the great victory,” a statement from his office said.
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State television later showed Abadi to visit Mosul to walk alongside residents of Iraq’s second largest city, according to the Associated Press.
In a meeting with the commanders in Mosul, Abadi said the battle against ISIS is “resolved” and that the victory in Mosul “is on our side,” according to a statement released by his office Sunday evening.
During the last day, Abadi said in the release, a large number of fighters died ISIS – although security forces were still trying to free civilians from 50 to 100 houses where they were used as human shields.
“We arrived in Mosul today to oversee the battle that left one or two pockets still under the control” of the ISIS fighters, Abadi said, adding that his only option was to die or surrender.
Abadi spokesman told NBC News Sunday night that speech celebrations and victory is postponed until parts of Mosul, where it is underway, are omitted from the fighting.
ISIS militants had seized the city in June 2014, when the terrorist group spread over parts of Iraq and Syria.
Iraqi forces, backed by US-led coalition air strikes fought to free the city for months and fighting were concentrated on the streets of the old city of Mosul in recent weeks.
The battle for Iraq launched its offensive to retake Mosul in October has left parts of the city in ruins, killed thousands and displaced almost a million people, according to Reuters.
But as the battle against the ISIS in the city ends, the struggle for Iraq’s future is far from overtaken by ethnic and sectarian fractures that have more than ten years of suffering in the country.