The Iraqi Prime Minister and the people of Iraq have cause to celebrate a great victory over Mosul with his ‘brave forces’, as inside information of ISIS atrocities in the final hours of its barbarous rule continue to come out.
Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of the city as a ‘victory over darkness, brutality and terrorism’ as he celebrated and shared the victory with a mass crowd of his people.
‘I announce to the whole world today the end, failure and collapse of the mythical terrorist state. We joined the people of Mosul in their celebration of the city’s liberation, brought about through the sacrifices of our brave forces.’
A 100,000-strong coalition of Iraqi government units, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shi’ite militias set up the offensive to retake the city ten months ago.
Prime Minister Abadi, who was dressed in an all-black military uniform and flanked by his commanders, gave thanks to the troops and the coalition, which included U.S. air support.
‘We announce the total victory for Iraq and all Iraqis,’ he said, speaking from a small base in western Mosul on the edge of the Old City. This great feast day crowned the victories of the fighters and the Iraqis for the past three years.’
But he admonished that more trials lay in the future, saying:
‘We have another mission ahead of us, to create stability and to clear Daesh cells. That requires an intelligence and security effort, and the unity which enabled us to fight Daesh.’ Daesh is the Arabic term for ISIS.
The US-led coalition that backed the Mosul offensive and is supporting another assault on IS’s Syrian bastion Raqqa hailed the victory. However, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the commander of the operation, warned work was still needed to defeat ISIS.
‘This victory alone does not eliminate (IS) and there is still a tough fight ahead,’ he said. ‘But the loss of one of its twin capitals and a jewel of their so-called caliphate is a decisive blow.’
And US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said:
‘On behalf of President Trump and the American people, I congratulate Prime Minister Abadi and the Iraqi people. This is a critical milestone in the global fight against ISIS, and underscores the success of the international effort led by the Iraqi Security Forces.’
News of ISIS brutalities have been passed on by civilians who were trapped inside the desolate city during the ten month siege.
Faced with hundreds of people in a mass exodus, fanaticals executed seven children to try and control the flow of refugees and even used their own family members as human shields.
There were reports some ISIS members resorted to jumping into the Tigris river in an attempt to escape with total victory on the horizon.
While Mosul is a huge loss to the jihadists, it is not a terminal one according to Patrick Martin, Iraq analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
‘We should not view the recapture of Mosul as the death knell for ISIS. If security forces do not take steps to ensure that gains against IS are sustained for the long-term, then ISIS could theoretically resurge and recapture urban terrain.’