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Iraqi Prime Minister Declares Victory Over ISIS in Mosul

Prime Minster Al-Abadi formally declared victory over ISIS in Mosul. United States Lt. General Stephen Townsend says the U.S. now moves on to making retaking the city of  Raqqa in Syria the top objective in the region.

Three years after the terror group ISIS claimed its “caliphate” the Iraqi cityof Mosul, the country’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has declared “victory is at hand” in the ancient city. It is reported that he has told residents to return to work and that celebrations have begun in the streets.

Al-Abadi said, “It is a matter of time before we declare to our people the great victory.”

CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports that while “they’re very fond of declaring victory [in Iraq]” the nation is seeing the “final, final pockets of ISIS resistance in the old city of Mosul.”

Walsh also reports that some ISIS fighters surrendered after “intense airstrikes from the United States.”

Going forward, Walsh says that “Iraq has to begin the healing between its Shia and Sunni ethnicities,” which has been next to impossible for years.