Iraqi troops in mop-up operations in Mosul after key victories over ISIS

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) – Iraqi commanders say troops are clearing up a key neighborhood captured from Islamic State militants in the city of Mosul, a day after Iraq’s prime minister declared an end to the extremist group’s self-proclaimed caliphate.

Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi and Lt. Col. Salam Hussein say their forces are continuing to clear territory on Friday.

On Thursday, Iraqi forces retook the hugely symbolic al-Nuri Mosque, following a dawn push. The mosque and its famed 12th century minaret were blown up by IS last week. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi later announced that full liberation of Mosul is near and that Iraq’s “brave forces will bring victory.”

Iraqi forces, closely backed by the U.S.-led coalition, launched the operation to retake Mosul in October, initially pledging the city would be liberated in 2016.

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