After three long years of ISIS rule over the city of Mosul, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, was at long last able to announce the historic victory over ISIS, which has finally been expelled from the city by the Iraqi Armed Forces.
He stressed the unity and togetherness of the country in its joint aim to rid Iraq of terrorism and ISIS, which has been active in the country for the past few years. Haider al-Abadi mentioned his appreciation of the efforts and sacrifices made by the Iraqi people and the armed forces in working to throw away the terror state to the “dustbin of history”.
The declaration of the victory over ISIS has been met by jubilant and spontaneous celebrations in both Mosul and other parts of the country. These scenes of joy represent a catharsis of sorts as Moslawis have been living under the excessively repressive rule of ISIS ever since its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the establishment of his so-called “Islamic State” from the podium of the now destroyed Nuri Mosque in the Old City.
The battle to retake Mosul was initiated in October 2016 by the Iraqi armed forces and other coalition forces. The whole of the eastern side of the city was liberated in January 2017 and operations to free the western side were launched in February 2017. After months of intense fighting between the Iraqi armed forces and ISIS, the terrorist group was eventually besieged inside the Old City and its surrounding areas.
This final stage of the operations represented the most difficult phase of the battle due to the difficulties of fighting in the narrow streets of the Old City and the tactics used by ISIS, such as employing civilians as human shields and putting them into booby-trapped houses to trick the Iraqi forces into killing them instead of ISIS militants. Towards the end of the battle ISIS militants even began to disguise themselves as civilians escaping the Old City, only to be captured by the Iraqi forces.
ISIS control over Mosul had been gradually deteriorated ever since the operations to retake the city began last year, and now their control has been exterminated completely.