Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Mosul on Sunday, hailing his forces for securing victory over the ISIL Takfiri group, their biggest yet against the insurgents.
Abadi’s office said he was visiting liberated Mosul to congratulate his heroic fighters.
“Victory is certain, and what remains of Daesh is surrounded… and it is just a matter of time for us to announce the great victory to our people,” Abadi said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL. He indicated he would only declare victory once final pockets of resistance were cleared.
The delay “comes out of my respect and appreciation for our… forces that are continuing the clearing operation,” he said.
“There are just one or two pockets of Daesh remnants left,” and “the major victory is in hand,” the premier added.
Photographs showed Abadi dressed in a black military uniform and cap, shaking hands with police and army officers.
His office said Abadi met commanders in Mosul and issued a series of orders on “sustaining victories and eliminating the defeated remnants” of ISIL, as well as “establishing security and stability in the liberated city.”
Iraqi forces waved flags and flashed victory signs after Abadi arrived in the city.