Iraqi PM Haider al Abadi arrives in Mosul as victory is declared over Isis

Iraqi PM Haider al Abadi arrives in Mosul as victory is declared over IsisReuters

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi has arrived in Mosul to congratulate forces for securing the city from the grips of Isis.

The country's forces – with heavy backing from the United States and Kurdish militias – have waged a brutal nine-month campaign to recapture the city from the terror group, however they have on Sunday (9 July) stated that the mission is now complete.

However, as Abadi took his first steps in the northern city, it marks the beginning of a long road for Mosul which will require years of rebuilding after the destruction it has undergone in the last year of fighting.

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Thousands of civilians have also died in the process and over a million more have been displaced in what will undoubtedly be a dark time in Iraq's already gloomy history.

Isis first seized Mosul in June of 2014 after conquering vast swathes of Sunni heartlands across Iraq and Syria.

It was then here on 4 July, 2014, in the Grand Mosque of al Nuri where Abu Bakr al Baghdadi declared the beginning of an Islamic caliphate and proclaimed himself as the leader of that caliphate and "for Muslims everywhere".

Three years later, as the battle for Mosul reached its final stages and after the Al Nuri Mosque was reduced to rubble, Iraqi troops desperately aimed to reconquer the city by 4 July in order to seal the victory on the anniversary of the symbolic speech and American Independence Day, however Isis fighters despairingly clung on to their last footholds in the city.

But, with US military dominance behind them, Iraqi troops proved too much for the jihadists and as victory was nearing, many Isis fighters reportedly flung themselves into the Tigris River to escape the battle.

Although the victory will be widely celebrated, it has already exacted a heavy toll on Iraqi and American forces.

According to Reuters, a US Department of Defense funding request for the 2018 budget claimed that Iraqi forces suffered 40% losses in the battle for Mosul and $1.269bn (£0.98bn) would be required to continue supporting Iraqi troops.

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