Iraqi prime minister arrives in Mosul to celebrate 'big victory'

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It is estimated that approximately 350 thousand people have been displaced from Mosul, because of fierce fighting.

Key dates in the offensive against the Islamic State group in Iraq's northern city of Mosul where on Sunday Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory.

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country is a key part of the coalition, was among the first world leaders to offer his congratulations. "Homage from France to all those, with our troops, who contributed to this victory".

Iraq still faces uncertainty and long-term stability will be possible only if the government contains ethnic and sectarian tensions which have dogged the country since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The fall of Mosul further reduces the so-called caliphate's territorial contiguity, leaving more pockets of IS-held land completely isolated.

The coalition, backed by American air power and special operations forces, had started the campaign to retake Mosul in October 2016.

Iraqi Army soldiers gather to celebrate their gains as their fight against Islamic State militants continues in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 9, 2017.

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And security forces have also suffered heavy losses, with thousands killed and wounded, though official casualty figures have not been released by Iraqi authorities.

The Department of Defence has requested US$1.269 billion in United States budget funds for 2018 to continue supporting Iraqi forces.

Dozens of militants from the so-called Islamic State were reported killed on Saturday, others tried to escape by swimming across the river.

"By no means does this seemingly imminent victory by Iraqi forces in Mosul mean the end of ISIL in Iraq", Stratford said before victory was declared.

"We should not view the recapture of Mosul as the death knell for IS", said Patrick Martin, Iraq analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. And, the Iraqi government appears to have no plans laid out for the future of Mosul.

However, the group is expected to revert to more conventional insurgent tactics such as bombings.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen, supported by US-led coalition warplanes and military advisers, have been involved in the battle.

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