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Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says Iraqi forces will fully recapture the northern city of Mosul, the de facto capital of the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country, in the coming days.
Axar.az reports citing Press TV.
"It's a matter of a few days and we will announce the total liberation of Mosul," Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network quoted Abadi as saying on Thursday.
The remarks come as fighting is underway between the Iraqi troops and Daesh terrorists in the historic, densely-populated Old City of Mosul.
On Wednesday, Daesh elements blew up the iconic 12th-century Hadba (Hunchback) minaret along with the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, where Daesh ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced a Takfiri "caliphate" back in 2014.
Abadi stressed that the destruction was an admission by the militants that they were losing the fight in Mosul.
“ISIS’s bombing of the Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri mosque is a formal declaration of their defeat,” he said.
Additionally, Iraqi Brigadier General Falah Fadel al-Obeidi, from the elite Counter Terrorism Service, told AFP that the recent destruction was an attempt by terrorists “to cover up their heavy losses in the media, but the media and the people see the victories and see the collapse of ISIS."
The Iraqi army soldiers and allied volunteer fighters have been leading a major operation to recapture the city since October 2016. They took control of eastern Mosul in January and launched the battle in the west in February.
The Mosul liberation operation has taken longer than planned as Takfiri elements are using bombings, sniper fire, and mortar attacks to slow the advance of the Iraqi forces.
An estimated 800,000 people have already fled Mosul, but over 100,000 civilians are still trapped in harrowing conditions in the city’s ISIS-controlled areas.
2017.06.22 / 22:29