Battle for Mosul: Emmanuel Macron hails Iraqi troops after city freed from Islamic State

Paris: French president Emmanuel Macron on Sunday hailed Iraqi pro-government troops and their allies for taking control of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) group.

"Mosul liberated from Daesh (another name for Islamic State). Homage from France to all those, with our troops, who contributed to this victory," Macron tweeted after Islamic State forces lost control of Iraq's second city, their last urban stronghold.

Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi earlier declared victory in the "liberated" city and lauded "the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people on the achievement of the major victory," his office said.

File image of Emmanuel Macron. AP

File image of Emmanuel Macron. AP

The retaking of Iraq's cultural jewel came after a gruelling nearly nine-month battle to retake the northern city after three years of rule by the jihadists.

The declared victory marked an epic milestone for Iraqi security forces, who had crumbled in the face of an Islamic State onslaught in 2014 as the group swept across much of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland to proclaim a self-styled "caliphate" straddling Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

A French armed forces spokesman had said on Wednesday that the French fighter jets had launched 600 air strikes against Islamic State in Mosul since the start of the battle to retake the city in support of Iraqi troops.

Updated Date: Jul 09, 2017 20:07 PM

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