US General: Mosul Victory Announcement 'Imminent'

Violet Powell
July 10, 2017

Nearly exactly three years ago, the ultra-hardline group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared from Mosul a "caliphate" over adjoining parts of Iraq and Syria.

May 4, 2017- Iraqi forces launched a second front in northwestern Mosul to further seal the siege on the Old City, where Daesh has concentrated most of its resources.

- March 12: A U.S. envoy says Iraqi troops have cut all roads into western Mosul, trapping remaining IS fighters inside.

Backed by a ferocious aerial bombing campaign by a US-led global coalition, the offensive has turned much of the city to rubbleand forced tens of thousands of people to flee.

The Islamic State will be entirely eradicated from its de facto capital in Mosul by next week, a senior general operating in Iraq said Thursday.

A smiling al-Abadi walked among the soldiers, at one point grabbing an Iraqi flag and briefly draping it across his shoulders.

The UN predicts it will cost more than $1 billion to fix basic infrastructure in Mosul.

"The fighters are collectively pledging (to fight to the) death in Maydan", it said, referring to the neighborhood by the Tigris riverside where they are making their last stand.

Job done Iraqi PM Haider al Abadi shakes hands with his officers in Mosul
Job done Iraqi PM Haider al Abadi shakes hands with his officers in Mosul

Iraqi troops recently recaptured the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, from where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself leader of the terror group three years ago, and residents are preparing to celebrate an expected victory in the city.

More than 2,000 militants are holed up with their families and tens of thousands of civilians in Raqqa's center, the city's most densely populated districts.

The is militants captured Mosul in June 2014. Iraqi media reported Sunday that government forces had driven IS from all areas of the city, and are "chasing" them down in some of those areas.

According to Reuters, Iraqi military commanders have said they are close to taking full military control of the city.

The Iraqi government does not reveal casualty figures, but a funding request from the US Department of Defence said the elite Counter Terrorism Service, which has spearheaded the fight in Mosul, had suffered 40 per cent losses.

The government announced the "liberation" of eastern Mosul in January, but the west of the city, with its narrow, winding streets, has presented a more hard challenge.

"The damage in the right bank, compared to the left bank is 30 times more", said Nofal al-Hammad, governor of Nineveh, a city located on the outskirts of Mosul.

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The Federal Reserve voted to raise its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a point from 1 percent to 1.25 percent in June. The government said job gains occurred in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining.

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