Iraqi forces are claiming ISIS is done for with the fall of their ‘capital’, Mosul.
Troops seized the ruins of the city’s grand mosque from ISIS.
According to Federalist Papers: “Their fictitious state has fallen,” military spokesperson Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told state TV on Thursday – three years to the day since Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the so-called caliphate from the same spot, the Independent reports.
Once it seemed clear that they were losing, ISIS terrorists blew up the 12th Century al-Nuri mosque. They had flown their black flag from the minaret since June 2014 when they successfully managed to capture one full third of Iraq after storming across the Syrian border.
The Independent report revealed special troops, after a violent dawn offensive, entered the compound and gained control of the surrounding streets of Mosul.
All is not completely safe though.
Explosive experts are being employed to sniff out any booby-traps ISIS militants may have laid while retreating and there are still 300 terrorists fighting, to the death apparently, in the Old City district.
Iraqi officials aren’t concerned about the later fact though. They suspect ISIS’s 8-month-long seige of Mosul to end in few short days to come.
Reason being, the terror group only holds onto land that is a half-mile square west of the Tigris river.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has already “issued instructions to bring the battle to its conclusion,” his office said on Wednesday.
The victory has come at a cost: the fierce fighting and US-led bombing campaign have killed thousands of civilians and driven 850,000 in total from their homes. Huge swathes of the city have been reduced to rubble, and in the searing summer heat the stench of dead bodies is overpowering, soldiers on the front line say.
Operation Inherent Resolve to retake the city began in October 2016. While the struggle for Mosul – once a cosmopolitan city of 1.5 million people and the jewel in Isis’ crown – has almost reached its end, the militants still cling on to pockets of northern Iraq near the border with Syria.
The complex coalition operation made up of the Iraqi army, elite counter terrorism units, Iranian-funded militias and Kurdish peshmerga has dovetailed with US-backed Kurdish forces’ efforts across the border to drive Isis from its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa.
What do you suspect will happen next?
Are we seeing the end days of ISIS?