Final victory over Islamic State in Mosul imminent in the next few hours, says Iraqi state TV

Mosul/Erbil: Iraqi security forces expect to take full control of Mosul in the next hours as Islamic State's defensive lines collapse, state TV reported on Saturday.

Air strikes and artillery salvos pounded the jihadists' last bastion in the city as black smoke billowed over it.

"We are seeing now the last metres and then final victory will be announced," said a TV speaker, citing the channel's correspondents embedded with security forces battling in Islamic State's redoubt in the Old City of Mosul, by the Tigris river. "It's a matter of hours," she said.

A military spokesman cited by the TV said the insurgents' defence lines were collapsing. Iraqi commanders say the insurgents are fighting for each metre with snipers, grenades and suicide bombers, forcing security forces to fight house-to-house in the densely populated maze of narrow alleyways.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

A US-led international coalition is providing air and ground support to the eight-month-old offensive to wrest back Mosul, once the de-facto capital of Islamic State in Iraq. Months of urban warfare have displaced 9,00,000 people, about half the city's pre-war population, and killed thousands, according to aid organisations.

Mosul was by far the largest city seized by Islamic State in its offensive three years ago where the ultra-hardline group declared its "caliphate" over adjoining parts of Iraq and Syria.

Stripped of Mosul, Islamic State's dominion in Iraq will be reduced to mainly rural, desert areas west and south of the city where tens of thousands of people live. The militants are expected to keep up attacks on selected targets across Iraq.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of Islamic State's "state of falsehood" a week ago, after security forces took Mosul's medieval Grand al-Nuri mosque - although only after retreating militants blew it up.

The United Nations predicts it will cost more than $1 billion to repair basic infrastructure in Mosul. Iraq's regional Kurdish leader said on Thursday that the Baghdad central government had failed to prepare a post-battle political, security and governance plan.

The offensive has damaged thousands of structures in Mosul's Old City and destroyed nearly 500 buildings, satellite imagery released by the United Nations on Thursday showed.

In some of the worst affected areas, almost no buildings appear to have escaped damage and Mosul's dense construction means the extent of the devastation might be underestimated, UN officials said.


Updated Date: Jul 08, 2017 14:16 PM

Also Watch

It's A Wrap: Omerta star Rajkummar Rao in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 In the Kanjarbhat community, a campaign against 'virginity tests' is slowly gaining ground
  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 Watch: National-level skater and coach Dhwanit Rele trains and nurtures budding athletes
  • Monday, May 14, 2018 FOMO Episode 1: Google Assistant, This is America, Sonam's wedding & Global Warming
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See