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Iraq announces 'liberation' of Mosul from Daesh

10 July 2017

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been celebrating with Iraqi troops in Mosul after they drove Islamic State militants from some of their last strongholds in a almost nine-month campaign.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Sunday the northern city of Mosul to celebrate the victory in a nine-month battle against the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) militant group.

Iraqi forces, with the help of US -led airstrikes, have been fighting to take back the city since October.

The declared victory in Mosul marks an epic milestone for the Iraqi security forces, who had crumbled in the face of a Daish onslaught across Iraq in 2014.

Tens of thousands of people are likely to return to the city in the near future, placing pressure on the Iraqi government and the global community to begin rebuilding immediately.

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US -backed Syrian forces have encircled and pushed into the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa in neighboring Syria after a month of fighting, although a long battle lies ahead.

Abadi's spokesman, Saad al-Hadithi, said victory would not be formally declared until the few remaining Islamic State militants were cleared from Mosul.

- March 14: Iraqi forces say they have captured the city's train station after reaching other symbolic sites such as the regional government headquarters and the city's museum.

Officials warned that, while the main battle for Mosul was over, the militants may yet launch sporadic attacks from rural areas near the city where IS still has pockets of control.

A small group of ragged civilians - women, children and the elderly - were the only ones spotted in this part of Mosul on Saturday.

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According to a United Nations aid organization, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been pushed out of Mosul since the fight to reclaim the city began.

Inside IS-held territory, the extremists are using human shields, suicide bombers and snipers in a fight to the death that has slowed recent Iraqi gains to a crawl.

In Tal Afar, airstrikes killed 12 militants.

July 9, 2017- Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul and congratulated the armed forces for their "victory" over Islamic State.

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Iraq announces 'liberation' of Mosul from Daesh