Iraqis prepare to celebrate victory over Isis in Mosul

Iraqis prepare to celebrate victory over Isis in Mosul

Iraqis prepare to celebrate victory over Isis in Mosul

A girl stops in exhaustion while fleeing through an alley, as Iraqi Special Forces continue their advance against Islamic State militants, in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 2, 2017.

US backed forces said they are just days away from completely liberating Mosul after Iraqi troops, which have led the ground assault against ISIS, regained control over the Al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, nearly three years to the day that the group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the foundation of ISIS' self-styled caliphate inside.

To truly rid Mosul of ISIS militants, security forces needed to check each neighborhood for supporters by talking to locals as they liberated each area, Al-Juburi said. The al-Nouri Mosque is where ISIS's leader declared the formation of a so-called caliphate across much of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

There are approximately 300 militants still fighting in the Old City district, and the terror group still holds territory on the west side of the Tigris River, according to The Independent. The U.S. -backed offensive to retake the city was launched last October and has lasted almost nine months, although Iraqi political and military officials had vowed that victory would be declared by the end of 2016.

An estimated 600 civilians are still trapped inside the city.

Government troops advancing through the Old City were using rougher tactics to clear the remaining pockets of IS forces.

Later on Thursday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the full liberation of the city is near and that Iraq's "brave forces will bring victory".

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Mosul was largely cut off from food and water for months, and humanitarian groups are reporting a spike in the number of displaced people suffering from malnutrition and dehydration.

Hundreds of civilians fleeing the Old City have been killed in the past three weeks.

Not all of the ISIS members still living in Mosul are fighters, according to Al-Juburi.

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The day following the victory, a senior Iraqi commander said victory in Mosul would be declared within the "next few days".

Mosul is by far the largest city captured by Islamic State.

For its part, the joint Command operations (JOC), which coordinates the fight against the IS in Iraq, has assured Monday that the federal police was still pounding and was not coming to the end of all of his goals.

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