Mosul: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Sunday and congratulated the armed forces for their victory over the Islamic State after 266 days of fierce battles, which finally liberated Mosul from the 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, Xinhua reported.
Liberating Mosul from the occupation of the Islamic State 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 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared in 2014 the establishment of the Islamic State, a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
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.