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Victory in Mosul 'about to be announced', Iraq state TV claims

09 July 2017

Iraqi security forces in the Bab al-Jadeed district of Mosul prepared to take full control of the city on Saturday after reporting the defensive lines of the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are collapsing.

ISIS fighters have pledged to fight to the death.

"We are seeing now the last metres and then final victory will be announced", a television presenter said, citing the channel's correspondents embedded with security forces battling in ISIS' redoubt in the Old City of Mosul, by the Tigris river.

Iraqi state TV reported that "victory" would be announced within hours.

Airstrikes undertaken by the US-led coalition attempting to root out the extremists have also caused huge collateral damage - reportedly resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated his forces on a "big victory" in Mosul on Tuesday, but the almost nine-month battle to retake the city continues. "Look how much the government is contributing, as if they don't care".

More than three quarters of the remaining jihadists in Mosul are foreigners, according to Iraqi commanders who have reported a spike in suicide attacks as anti-IS forces close in on the Old City.

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Slowing the advance toward the final holdouts, IS fighters have placed booby traps and bombs in structures they occupied.

The eastern half of the city was liberated in in January and has begun moving toward a sense of normalcy with the return of residents and businesses.

The UN has warned that IS may be holding more than 100,000 people in the city as human shields.

Flalah al-Wardani, commander of the 1st Brigade of the elite Iraqi force.

Dozens of ISIL militants were killed on Saturday and others tried to escape by swimming across the Tigris, state television said. Security forces medics were giving them first aid.

Stripped of Mosul, ISIS' dominion in Iraq will be reduced to mainly rural desert areas west and south of the city where tens of thousands live.

Victory in Mosul 'about to be announced', Iraq state TV claims