PM Haider al-Abadi, dressed in a military uniform, celebrated with troops in Mosul. Iraq launched the operation to retake Mosul in October. Soldiers danced to patriotic music atop tanks even as airstrikes sent plumes of smoke into the air nearby. The general Saadi said he had planted the Iraqi flag on the banks of the Tigris on Sunday morning an act he described as a “special moment.” The militants captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in the summer of 2014, when troops fled the city.
The Old Mosul now
The fighting in Mosul displaced more than 897,000 people. Many civilians, including seven journalists, were killed in the battle or by ISIS. The Islamic State group has suffered a series of major setbacks over the past year. Now, the extremists still hold several smaller towns and villages across Iraq and Syria. The group is threatened with the loss of its de facto capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa, which is encircled by Arab and Kurdish fighters supported by the United States.The security forces in Mosul still face dangers, including Islamic State sleeper cells and suicide bombers. “When the fighting stops, the humanitarian crisis continues,” said Lise Grande, the deputy special representative for Iraq for the United Nations secretary general. That means the reconstruction must begin.