Prime Minister Abadi to deliver victory speech in West Mosul
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is to deliver a victory speech in West Mosul later today after the Iraqi forces announced that they controlled the site of the now-destroyed al-Nuri Mosque and al-Hadba Minaret in Old Mosul where ISIS declared its caliphate in Iraq and Syria three years ago, Rudaw has learned.
ISIS destroyed the 845-year old site last Wednesday as Iraqi forces were as close as 50 meters from it.
Yahya Rasool, the Command’s spokesperson told Rudaw Thursday afternoon that “militarily” ISIS has been defeated in the entire Mosul. He said that there are still tens of ISIS militants in small places of Old Mosul. He called on the Iraqi people to “celebrate” the end of the extremist group in the city.
Iraq’s Joint Command said in a statement that the Sanjkhana district in Old Mosul was also liberated today.
Thursday morning, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Iraq’s Joint Command in Baghdad to oversee the military plans for a “decisive war.”
Abadi and the military and security commanders for the Nineveh operations “discussed the war plans, and instructions were issued to our heroic forces and our commanders to decide the war,” a statement from Abadi’s office read.
The Iraqi forces are close in announcing “their big military victory over the ISIS militants,” Iraq’s Joint Command said in a separate statement on Thursday as it denied reports that its forces in Mosul were targeted by the US-led global coalition.
Iraqi forces have already liberated several other areas in Old Mosul, including Hazar al-Sada, Ahmadiyah, and Faruq 2.
The US-trained Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Services (CTS), the Army’s 16th Brigade, and the Federal police have cleared half of the old city, Iraq’s Joint Command stated on Tuesday night, and that the area yet to be retaken totals 850 by 1,700 meters (1.445 sq km) in the old city.
Al-Nuri mosque is where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his so-called caliphate on June 29, 2014, naming himself “caliph,” leader of the whole Islamic world, seeking to found a new Islamic regime.
An effigy of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, showing him head a ceremony in the al-Nuri mosuqe, burns during a protest in New Delhi on June 9, 2017 by Indian Shiites. It was in protest against the ISIS-claimed twin attacks in Tehran that killed 18 people. File photo: AFP / Prakash Singh
Forces of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi overrun Mosul on June 10, 2014
When they threaten Shiite holy sites, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric issues a call to arms against the group, bringing a flood of volunteers to militias.
Baghdadi declares ISIS caliphate on June 29, 2014
At the pulpit of the al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared in a 21-minute video his so-called caliphate on June 29, 2014, naming himself “caliph,” leader of the whole Islamic world, seeking to found a new Islamic regime.
“Do jihad in the cause of God, incite the believers and be patient in the face of this hardship,” he said.
The mosque is named for Nur al-Din Mahmoud Zangi, a Turkic ruler of Mosul and Aleppo, who had the mosque built in 1172 – 1173. Nur al-Din brought together Muslims in Iraq and Syria to form a united front against the crusaders.
“The hour has come and the moment of great victory is near,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in a televised address. “I announce today the start of the operation to liberate the province of Nineveh.”
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani was commanding all Peshmerga forces and arrived at the front with Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
“[At 10 p.m.], Peshmerga forces in Khazir, East of Mosul had achieved their key objectives: clear nine villages and extend control over the Erbil-Mosul Road,” the General Command of the Peshmerga Forces announced at the end of the day.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command said Monday their forces are advancing towards Mosul city centre from the north and southeast, adding that its forces have liberated several villages north, southeast, and southwest of Mosul.
The town of Bashiqa is under full control of Peshmerga forces but pockets of ISIS militants remain that will be dealt with tomorrow or the day after, a Peshmerga commander told Rudaw.
Peshmerga made giant advances in Bashiqa from three directions.
Bashiqa had been surrounded by the Peshmerga for two weeks.
East Mosul declared liberated on January 24
“Security forces liberated the left coast fully today after expelling Daesh and have raised the Iraqi flags over government buildings,” Abadi announced in a press conference, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Addressing the Iraqi forces taking part in the operation, Abadi said, “I have told the world how brave you are and everyone is proud of you, of your success and victory with the people.”