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Iraqi PM declares end of ISIS Caliphate in Iraq

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City left in ruins after ISIS attack.
Photo: Reuters
Iraq declared victory over ISIS’ presence in that country on
Thursday with the capture of a destroyed mosque in Mosul.
Iraqi troops have been fighting their way through Mosul for
the past eight months, seizing the Grand al-Nuri Mosque on Wednesday.
Though destroyed by ISIS fighters, the capture of the
850-year-old mosque is considered a huge symbolic victory to Iraqis. It is
where the Islamic State announced its caliphate almost three years ago.

“The return of Nuri mosque and minaret of Hadba today after
being [destroyed] by ISIS marks the end of Daesh State falsehood,” Iraq Prime
Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement, using the Arabic acronym for the
terror group. “We will continue chasing ISIS until we kill and arrest [every]
last one of them.”
NBC revealed that while the Iraqi government appears assured
of its victory, there is still fighting in areas of Mosul populated by
civilians. Between 15,000 and 20,000 non combatants are trapped in the Old
Mosul neighbourhood, which still needs to be cleared, according to Joint
Operation Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool.
“Iraqi forces have liberated the Nuri mosque and advanced in
the depth of Old Mosul neighbourhood,” Rasool said.
ISIS now controls less than a square mile inside of Mosul,
but there were indications of forward momentum inside the city.
About 300 ISIS fighter remained in the Old City, according
to the Associated Press.
“Units from Federal Police and Quick reaction Forces
recaptured Al-Jumhuri hospital, and the medical complex in Al-Shifa district in
the Old Mosul neighbourhood in the western side of the city of Mosul,” a
spokesman for the Joint Operation Command said in a statement.
Though Iraqi authorities are calling ISIS defeated in Iraq,
the terrorist organization continues to control a small amount of territory
immediately west of the city that is densely populated. U.S.-led coalition
officials also believe as many as 2,500 ISIS fighters still remain in the
embattled Syrian city of Raqqa, according to the Associated Press.
U.S.-led coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said that
victory in Mosul was “imminent” and could occur “in days rather than
weeks,” the AP also reported.
Nevertheless, Dillon added that “the Old City still remains
a difficult, dense, suffocating fight — tight alleyways with booby traps,
civilians and (ISIS) fighters around every corner.”

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