Iraqi PM: Mosul to be liberated within days

The “liberation” of the city of Mosul from Daesh will be announced in a few days, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Thursday, according to Baghdad-based Al-Sumaria TV.
“It’s a matter of a few days and we will announce the total liberation of Mosul,” Al-Abadi told reporters in Baghdad, according to Al-Sumaria.
The leaning Al-Hadba minaret that towered over Mosul for 850 years lay in ruins on Thursday, demolished by retreating Daesh militants, but Al-Abadi said the act marked their final defeat in the city.
“In the early morning, I climbed up to the roof of my house and was stunned to see Al-Hadba had gone,” Nashwan, a day-laborer who lives near the mosque, said by phone. “I felt I had lost a son of mine.”
His words echoed the shock and anger of many over the destruction of the Grand Al-Nuri Mosque along with its famous minaret, known affectionately as “the hunchback” by Iraqis.
The demolition came on Wednesday night as Iraqi forces closed in on the mosque, which carried enormous symbolic importance for Daesh.
It was there that its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” as militants seized swathes of Syria and Iraq. He proclaimed himself the caliph, ruler of all Muslims, from the mosque’s pulpit.
His black flag had been flying on the 150-foot minaret since June 2014, after Daesh fighters surged across Iraq.

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