Thursday, 29 June 2017

ISIL Caliphate 'Has Fallen'

Bethan McKernan, 'Iraq declares Isis's caliphate 'has fallen' after huge symbolic victory in Mosul' Independent 29th June 2017. The battle for #Mosul is reaching a definite end as the ISF has seized control over half of the old centre of the city.
Iraqi troops have seized the ruins of Mosul’s grand mosque from Isis, the military said in an announcement, declaring the extremists’ reign in the country to be over. “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. [...] While there are approximately 300 militants still fighting to the death in the Old City district, the Iraqi authorities expect the eight-month-long battle to end within the next few days. Isis now holds an area of the west side of the Tigris River less than 1km square. [...] 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.
Drone footage shows the scale of the destruction

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