Raw: Mosul Residents Flee as Fighting Continues

Raw: Mosul Residents Flee as Fighting Continues

ISIS first seized Mosul in 2014, but Iraqi forces have been chipping away at jihadist control of the city since October of a year ago.

Iraqi forces backed by a US -led coalition launched a major operation to retake the city in October.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has congratulated the country's armed forces for the victorious eight-month battle to liberate Mosul from three years of jihadist rule.

Troops from Iraqi Special Forces marked the victory by planting the Iraqi flag on the bank of the Tigris River.

A United States-led global coalition is providing air and ground support to the eight-month offensive to wrest back Mosul. The mood was less festive, however, among some of the almost one million Mosul residents displaced by months of fighting, many of whom are living in camps outside the city. And, the Iraqi government appears to have no plans laid out for the future of Mosul.

Feb 24, 2017- Iraqi forces took full control of Mosul airport and enter their first west Mosul neighbourhood.

AFP meanwhile reported that the decaying bodies of Daesh fighters were piling up among the ruins of Mosul.

Washington, Baghdad, Mosul - Iraq will imminently announce a final victory in its battle to retake Mosul from ISIS, a USA general said. Mohammed Haji Ahmed, 43, a clothing trader, said in the Hassan Sham camp to the east of Mosul.

Raw: Mosul Residents Flee as Fighting Continues

Iraqi government forces have been rooting out the last few pockets of resistance in Iraq's second largest city over the past number of days.

Key dates in the offensive against the Islamic State group in Iraq's northern city of Mosul where on Sunday Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory.

Islamic State militants seized it in June 2014 before taking much of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland and proclaiming a "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria.

Some Iraqi fighters have already begun victory celebrations, with reports of dozens of soldiers dancing to music blaring from a truck and firing machineguns in the air.

Iraq's Joint Operations Command issued a statement saying that 35 ISIS members were killed and six captured trying to escape "the advance of our forces" in the Old City. The battle for the Old City has been among the most brutal of the offensive.

Haider al-Abadi reportedly said he "congratulates the fighters and the people on the big victory" in Mosul.

The Department of Defence has requested US$1.269 billion in United States budget funds for 2018 to continue supporting Iraqi forces.

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