Iraqi forces retake Mosul, the Islamic State’s de-facto capital

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, center, is pictured in Mosul, Iraq, on July 9, 2017. Iraqi Prime Minister Media Office/Handout via Reuters

More than three years after the Islamic State captured Mosul, Iraqi forces on Sunday retook the city from the self-proclaimed caliphate after months of intense fighting.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul Sunday, declaring victory for the troops, who were backed by a U.S.-led coalition, even as pockets of fighting continued in sections of the city against the last remaining Islamic militants.

A statement released by the prime minister’s office said he was there to “congratulate the armed forces and the Iraqi people.”

Members of the Iraqi army’s 9th Division were seen standing on tanks and dancing to patriotic music as airstrikes continued in small sections of Mosul’s Old City, where Islamic State fighters took their last stand, the Associated Press reported.

More than 915,000 people have been displaced from Mosul since October, according to the United Nations. Thousands of civilians have been killed.

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