Iraq declares ‘victory’ over Islamic State in Mosul

Iraq’s prime minister has declared victory over the so-called Islamic State in Mosul after nearly nine months of battle.

Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, travelled to Mosul to formally reclaim the city that the extremist group had proclaimed its ‘caliphate’.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a ‘caliphate’ across Iraq and Syria from the al-Nuri mosque almost three years ago. Isis blew it up last month in the final days of their retreat, apparently in order to deny the Iraqi government the chance to change the national flag from its minaret - a symbol of triumph.

Sir Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary, congratulated al-Abadi and the Iraqi security forces on their victory. He said: “I congratulate Prime Minister Abadi, and the Iraqi forces who have been fighting on the ground with great bravery and care against a brutal opponent. Daesh has total disregard for innocent civilian life and we should welcome their defeat in a city that was ground zero for their so-called caliphate.

“Britain has played a leading role in the Coalition that has helped bring about the removal of the death cult from Mosul. The RAF has struck more than 750 targets as part of the campaign to liberate Mosul - second only to the United States. While these pin point strikes have brought an end to Daesh in the city, there is still more to do. This barbaric group remains dug in west of the Euphrates and clearing operations in and around Mosul will be needed because of the threat from improvised explosive devices.”

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