Eastern Mosul liberated from ISIS, US-led coalition says

Eastern Mosul liberated from ISIS, US-led coalition says
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Eastern Mosul has been liberated by Iraqi security forces, the U.S.-led military coalition said Tuesday.

"After more than 100 days of hard urban combat, the government of Iraq and Iraqi security forces announced the liberation of Eastern Mosul, Jan 24," read a coalition statement.  

The coalition said "clearance operations are ongoing" but that the Iraqi forces control all areas inside Mosul east of the Tigris river. 

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“This is a monumental achievement for not only the Iraqi security forces and sovereign government of Iraq, but all Iraqi people,” said Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, the multi-national coalition tasked with militarily defeating ISIS. 

Mosul is the second largest city in Iraq, and is ISIS's last stronghold in the country. ISIS had seized the city in 2014 in a lightning advance from Syria that took Iraqi forces off guard. It held more than a million residents. 

The coalition supported Iraqi forces with 558 airstrikes using 10,115 munitions, destroying at least 151 vehicle bombs, 361 buildings, 140 tunnels, 408 vehicles, 392 bunkers and 315 artillery/mortar systems.

Townsend warned that liberating Western Mosul may be tougher. 

"There is still a long way to go before ISIL is completely eliminated from Iraq, and the fight for Western Mosul is likely to be even tougher than the Eastern side," he said, using another acronym for ISIS.

“But the ISF have proven they are both a professional and formidable fighting force and I have every confidence that ISIL’s days are numbered in Iraq," he said.