Iraqi Prime Minister declares victory over ISIL after long battle in Mosul

World Today

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2016 file photo, Iraqi army soldiers raise their weapons in celebration on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq. (AP Photo, File)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL in Mosul after nearly nine months of fighting to drive the militants out of Iraq’s second-largest city.

ISIL declared control of ISIL in 2014.

Abadi went to Mosul to celebrate the victory. “I announce from here to the whole world the end and the failure and the collapse of the terrorist state of falsehood and terrorism which [ISIL] announced from Mosul three years ago. By the sacrifices of the Iraqis and their efforts and their blood we were able to achieve victory over this mean and murderous state and send it to the trash heap of history,” the Iraqi prime minister said.

Despite the end of fighting declared in Mosul, the city has been devastated. More than 820,000 residents have been forced from their homes since October, and residents will continue to be displaced due to the “extensive damage caused during the conflict,” a U.N. statement said.