Iraqi people gather on the Tahrir Square in Baghdad, capital of Iraq, to celebrate the victory in the battles against the Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul, on July 9, 2017. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday said the victory in the battles against the Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul is guaranteed and it is a matter of time to defeat the extremist militants and "declare great victory" in the city. (Xinhua)
MOSUL, Iraq, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Sunday and congratulated the armed forces for their victory over Islamic State after 266 days of fierce battles, which finally liberated Mosul from IS and ended its three-year rule.
Iraqi soldiers and civilians in Mosul cheered and jumped for joy on Sunday over their historic victory over the Islamic State and hailed the liberation of the city.
Liberating Mosul from the occupation of Islamic State (IS) is seen as a great victory for Iraq's anti-terror war, though the war-torn country will face grave challenges of national reconstruction and reconciliation.
Mosul, the capital city of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh and the second largest city, had been taken as the de facto capital of the Islamic State.
It was in Mosul that IS leader Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared in 2014 the establishment of Islamic State, a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The fall of Mosul symbolizes the total collapse of IS in Iraq.
The victory opened doors for the much-needed reconstruction and national reconciliation, as desired by most Iraqis after suffering from wars and conflicts for so long.
The liberation of Mosul is a great victory in the anti-terrorism war. It broke the backbone of the terrorist groups and demolished the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq, civilians in Mosul said.
The victory in Mosul will pave the way for national reconstruction and reconciliation in the post-IS Iraq, they stressed.