Abadi hails 'great victory' against ISIL in Mosul

Backed by a USA -led coalition, Iraqi soldiers launched the Mosul operation in October.

The operation has been backed by a US-led coalition battling ISIL in Syria and Iraq, which has carried out waves of air strikes against the group and deployed military advisers on the ground.

The militants are locked in the district of Maydan on the banks of the River Tigris, where Islamic State's Amaq news agency said there had been "fierce fighting" and that IS fighters are "holding onto their fortified positions".

United Nations predicts it will cost more than $1 billion to fix Mosul's infrastructure in Mosul.

According to AFP, when Iraqi forces launched an assault on the Old City on June 18, foreign fighters accounted for only 20 percent of the 1,200 jihadists identified at the time.

Nov 23, 2016- Shiite-dominated paramilitary units known as the Hashed Al-Shaabi said they have cut Daesh supply lines between Mosul and the militants' Syrian stronghold Raqqa.

Washington, Baghdad, Mosul - Iraq will imminently announce a final victory in its battle to retake Mosul from ISIS, a USA general said.


But most Iraqi fighters fled by mingling in with the flood of civilians fleeing the Old City.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has arrived in Mosul to congratulate the country's security forces on their "great victory" in liberating the city from Islamic State terrorists after an eight-month-long operation.

Mr Abadi was there to announce the city's full "liberation", his office said in a statement.

A woman screams while fleeing with her family through a destroyed alley, as Iraqi Special Forces continue their advance against Islamic State militants, in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq.

"For children and their families to process these horrors and rebuild their lives, psychological support will be absolutely crucial", said Ana Locsin, Save the Children's Iraq country director.

Stripped of Mosul, Islamic State's dominion in Iraq will be reduced to mainly rural, desert areas west and south of the city, where tens of thousands of people live. USA warplanes began air strikes against ISIL in August 2014, at the request of the Iraqi government.

With Mosul, a city that had a population of around two million three years ago, the "caliphate" loses one of the main hubs of its administration and IS one of the most potent symbols of its might.


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