Iraq says forces are 'tens of meters' from retaking Mosul

Iraq says forces are 'tens of meters' from retaking Mosul

Iraq says forces are 'tens of meters' from retaking Mosul

ISIS first seized Mosul in 2014, but Iraqi forces have been chipping away at jihadist control of the city since October of past year.

Iraqi troops, backed by US-led coalition airstrikes and Shia and Kurdish militias, have liberated the whole eastern side of Mosul in a six-month offensive that began in October.

"PM Al-Abadi arrives in Mosul to announce its liberation and congratulate the armed forces and Iraqi people on this victory", a description of the photo said.

Iraq's Joint Command also stated Saturday that with these areas under their control, "the Federal Police have concluded their missions assigned to them in Old Mosul and the right bank", which is located west of the Tigris River and bisects Mosul.

The UN predicts it will cost more than $1 billion to fix basic infrastructure in Mosul.

The ISIS terror outfit had vowed to "fight to the death" in Mosul, however, Iraqi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool stated that 30 militants had been killed when they were attempting to flee by swimming across the River Tigris that bisects the city.

The declaration follows eight months of fierce fighting by Iraqi forces and a US-led coalition to oust the militants from their final stronghold in the country.

"The fighters of Islamic State are collectively pledging [to fight to the] death in Maydan", the agency said.

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"We are coming closer to victory over Daesh", he added, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

November 1, 2016- The army said it has entered Mosul city for the first time since 2014.

Heavy fighting is still reportedly underway in the city, however.

Iraqi security forces expect to take full control of Mosul in the coming hours as Islamic State's defensive lines collapse in its former de facto capital in Iraq, state television reported on Saturday.

The Department of Defence has requested US$1.269 billion in U.S. budget funds for 2018 to continue supporting Iraqi forces. Iraqi state TV says government forces have driven the militants from all areas and are "chasing" them in some areas in the city.

The Iraqi army, with backing from the USA military which has conducted air strikes, has been locked in a fight for the city since October a year ago.

Numerous nearly one million residents displaced by the conflict are living in camps outside the city.

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