By Eli Ridder | MOSUL
The prime minister’s office said he was there to mark Mosul’s full “liberation.”
“The commander in chief of the armed forces [Prime Minister] Haider al-Abadi arrived in the liberated city of Mosul and congratulated the heroic fighters and Iraqi people for the great victory,” read the statement.
Mr. al-Abadi has yet to issue a formal declaration of victory over so-called Islamic State in Mosul, but many observers believe that could occur today.
However, French President Emmanuel Macron said he welcomed the defeat. France is one of the countries part of the United States-led coalition against Daesh in Iraq.
Mosul was the largest city, by far, that Daesh captured for its self-titled “caliphate”. With it gone, and its Syrian territory shrinking rapidly, the militants could lose territorial significance in the region in the coming months.
However, in both Iraq and Syria, that will leave uncertainty and does not eradicate instability.
Iraqi Kurds are holding an independence referendum on Sept. 27, 2017, where they will decide whether to stay a semi-autonomous region within Iraq, or push to be an independent state.
Kurdsface resistance from Baghdad, however, they have gained new territory in the Kurdish Peshmerga’s fight against Daesh that many expect will be used as leverage.
The United States backed the semi-autonomous region in 1991, but it remains to be seen if the US or the west as a whole will get involved with Kurdish independence.
The New Union starting covering the Mosul offensive when it started on October 17, 2016.
So-called Islamic State took Mosul as its stronghold in Iraq during their “lightning strike” in June 2014 when the militants captured larges swathes of territory in northern Syria and Iraq.
The campaign to liberate Mosul launched in October 2016 by Iraqi security forces along with the Kurdish Peshmerga, Sunni Arab tribesmen, and Shia militia numbering around 50,000 in total. The offensive was initially slow to start due to tough resistance from so-called Islamic State.
A US-led coalition including the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and France have been active in different roles in the offensive ranging from airstrikes, ground support behind the front lines, and battleground medical camps.
Other members of the Combined Joint Task Force of Operation Inherent Resolve include Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Jordan, Morocco, the Netherlands, and Turkey.
Syndicated from The New Union