Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is now in Mosul and has congratulated armed forces for their "victory" over Isis, after nearly nine months of fighting in the city. NPR's Jane Arraf is in Mosul and joins us now. People celebrated in the streets of the capital Baghdad and southern cities.
Gunfire and explosions could be heard earlier in the day as the last few Islamic State positions were pounded.
Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake Mosul last October and by late January, the eastern half of the city was declared liberated. Reuters could not immediately verify the report.
But here, in this absolute desolation, you really get an idea of just how fierce the fighting has been and what lies ahead, perhaps. They said Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh was planning to travel to Erbil in Iraq to oversee operation of locating and return of these Indians held hostage for the past three years. "We were brought as human shields".
"Losing the symbolic heartland of its so-called Caliphate in Iraq will serve as a severe blow to Isis fighters and its supporters around the globe".
The victory marks the beginning of a long, arduous road to rebuilding the metropolis. That campaign and the overall military strategy were set under Trump's predecessor, U.S. President Barack Obama. Other troops waved flags and pointed their weapons in the air nearby. Commander in Chief Haider al-Abadi arrived in the city to congratulate his fighters. "We have to make sure we are ready to help them", said Grande.
The actions that took place during ISIS's takeover of Mosul amounted to war crimes, Amnesty argues.
There isn't really a single building standing here in this section of the Old City.
Before he was killed in a drone strike last year, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said that potential setbacks in Mosul and Raqqa would not spell the group's end. "Despite being deserted and abandoned, they will be at the gates of Jerusalem and its surroundings, they will be at the gates of Damascus and its surroundings". Everyone is tired - the soldiers, the civilians, everyone. Close to 700,000 people are still displaced. "If you tried to run away, they would catch you and kill you, and hang your body from the electricity pylon as a warning", one Mosul resident, identified only as Hasan, told Amnesty International. As the battle space constricted, the coalition began approving airstrikes dropping bombs of 200 pounds or more on IS targets within 50 meters (yards) of friendly forces. They need shelter, food, health care, water, sanitation and emergency kits.
US officials are aware of the risk of history repeating. In some ways, it is returning to what it does best - agile attacks, mobility and surprise.