Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have retaken the city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, following an eight month campaign.
The City of Mosul has been under ISIS control since June 2014 and the city was also the location where ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, gave his first Friday sermon in the Grand Mosque of al-Nuri, declaring the establishment of the so-called caliphate. Exactly three years later, following the liberation of the Grand Mosque of al-Nuri by the ISF, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared the caliphate to be over.
Iraqis, both in Mosul and in other areas of the country, have been celebrating the success of the ISF in liberating Mosul.
Abadi has recently visited the city to formally declare its liberation from ISIS militants. He also visited the soldiers of the ISF, meeting with security leaders at the headquarters of Nineveh Command, as well as the civilian inhabitants of the city. Abadi also praised the sacrifices of the ISF in achieving their goal in liberating Mosul from ISIS control stating that the military victory was achieved “by the blood of our martyrs”.
The ISF continue to pursue their goal of hunting down ISIS remnants who are attempting to flee the city. According to the Joint Operations Command of the ISF, approximately 30 ISIS militants were killed as they attempted to flee the city by swimming across the Tigris River, which passes through the centre of the city.
“ISIS militants fire on our pilots from the roofs of buildings. The pilot then exposes them and bombs their position. ISIS militants are the cause of demolition and destruction,” said an Iraqi solider on the continuing efforts of the ISF to neutralise all threats from ISIS militants in Mosul and to maintain a safe and secure environment to facilitate the reconstruction of Iraq’s second largest city.
As a result of the crackdown on the remnants of the group, ISIS militants have resorted to forcing women to carry out suicide attacks targeting thousands of civilians, some of which are wounded, who are fleeing in fear of an unclear future.