Mosul to be liberated in week, PM Abadi orders celebration preparations
Military sources have said that liberation of Mosul will not last for more than one week to prevent battling in the city after June 10, which marks the day on which Mosul fell to hands of the Islamic State militants in 2014, reports mentioned.
News websites quoted sources as saying that Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi gave instructions to prepare for celebrations in the country after liberation of Mosul, which will be declared through him and not in military statements like what happened with other cities when freed from IS.
Elimination of IS militants in Mosul killed and injured more than 30,000 civilians,most of whom were women and children, over the past eight-month old battle, which started in October, the sources added. Hundreds of violations were recorded by local and foreign organizations. The total count of losses and destruction of more than eighty percent of the city was estimated to be more than US$50 billion.
Iraqi generals had earlier predicted recapturing the city in mid-May before start of the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Saturday.
Iraqi commanders say they at least 90 percent of territories in western Mosul is under Iraqi troops control, predicting to retake the city before the end of May. Only two districts besides the Old City are under IS control.
Iraqi forces have been sweeping through northwestern neighborhoods over the past few weeks in a way to invade the strategic Old City, after finding it hard to invade from the south.
The eastern side of Mosul was retaken in January after three months of battles. Another major offensive was launched in February to recapture the western flank of the city.