Iraq PM Haider AL-Abadi Declares Mosul Victory Over 'Islamic State'

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. "The commander-in-chief of the armed forces [Prime Minister] Haider al-Abadi arrived in the liberated city of Mosul and congratulated the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people for the great victory," a statement from the prime minister's office read.

"Forces from the Counter Terrorism Service raised the Iraqi flag on the Tigris river bank in the Old City of Mosul," Iraqiya News reported. Some reports claim that heavy fighting was ongoing in parts of Mosul's western neighborhood near the Tigris River. The EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and its aid commissioner Christos Stylianides said in a joint statement on Sunday: "The recovery of Mosul from the hands of (IS) marks a decisive step in the campaign to eliminate terrorist control in parts of Iraq and to free its people."

"It is now essential that a process of return and the re-establishment of trust between communities begins, and that all Iraqis are able to start building a shared future," they said. In a Twitter message, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed similar sentiments: "Homage from France to all those, with our troops, who contributed to this victory," Macron tweeted just hours after PM Abadi declared victory in IS' last urban stronghold.

Courtesy: DW