Iraqi army is close to retaking Mosul

On Thursday, 29 June, the Iraqi armed forces, backed by the U.S.-led international coalition, retook the centre of Mosul, the main stronghold of the so-called Islamic state (IS). As a result of this success, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared the fall of the Caliphate.

The key success was the capture of the remains of the Grand al-Nuri mosque, in which the IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announced the creation of a caliphate in 2014. The mosque has recently been blown up by the radicals themselves during their retreat from the city. There are still some 350 IS fighters in Mosul, who are holding their positions in several districts in the Old City. The capture of these areas will, however, be difficult due to the closed spaces and the threat of snipers, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or suicide bombers. More than 100,000 civilians are also still present in the city and the IS might use them as human shields.

Thanks to this offensive, not only in Iraq but also in Syria, where the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces also claim success in conquering a city of Raqqa, the IS' territory has shrunk by 60 % and its revenue has fallen by 80 % over the last two years. 

About author: Jonáš Vlk

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