Iraqi PM declares victory over IS in Mosul

Image: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, center, shakes hands with army

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tweeted Sunday that he has arrived in the “liberated city of Mosul” and “congratulates the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people in achieving this great victory.” According to CNN.

But state TV reported Sunday that ISIS militants are still holding out in one neighborhood of Mosul, CNN reported.

Mosul is Iraq’s biggest metropolis outside of Baghdad, and gaining control of the city was one of ISIS’ most significant strategic wins. When the terror group seized Mosul in June 2014, it also took control of more than 2.5 million people and subjected some to horrors, CNN added.

It beheaded people in public, threw gay men to their deaths from the top of buildings and made prisoners out of men who did not grow beards and women who did not wear Islamic clothing such as burqas, CNN said.

In October last year, al-Abadi announced the start of the mission to retake Mosul, using a diverse coalition of about 100,000 troops, CNN added.

Mosul has been considered one of the main entry points for foreign fighters coming into the country. As fighters flocked to Mosul, hundreds of thousands of residents fled, prompting a refugee crisis, according to CNN.

The city is also near some of Iraq’s most vital oil fields, as well an oil pipeline that services Turkey. Securing these fields could bolster Iraq’s economy and hit ISIS’ finances hard, as the militant group sells oil illegally to fund its operations, CNN added.

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