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Iraq Declares ISIS Caliphate ‘Has Fallen,’ Victory in Mosul

The Iraqi government has declared the end of ISIS’s rule in Mosul after recapturing the remains of the historic Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the terror group’s de facto capital in the country. “Their fictitious state has fallen,” said Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool. The victory marks the end of more than eight months of all-out war in the city, where ISIS declared its caliphate three years ago. Thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting. The last Islamic State fighters in Mosul are reported to be cornered in only a small number of neighborhoods in the Old City, according to Iraqi officials. The 800-year-old mosque’s minaret, an iconic symbol to Iraqis, was leveled last week in what was believed to be an ISIS bombing. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has “issued instructions to bring the battle to its conclusion,” according to his office, and is reported by Kurdish media outlets to be heading to the city to deliver a “victory speech.”