The latest series of declarations of victory in Mosul have proven no more enduring or accurate than the previous ones, and reports of heavy gunfire continued throughout the day in the old city, along with intermittent artillery strikes from the remaining ISIS territory.
Iraqi officials have repeatedly declared ISIS “defeated” and Mosul to have been totally liberated, though in practice parts of the Old City never really fell outright, and ISIS continues to have some limited territory, and a relatively substantial number of fighters within.
Exactly how much territory this amounts to is a matter of some dispute, and a lot of conflicting reports. The extent to which a number of the recently “captured” neighbors were truly captured is not well understood, and in many cases, ISIS fighters remain active within.
Iraqi soldiers’ wholesale detentions of locals as “suspected ISIS,” and abuse of fleeing displaced people is raising tensions as well, and while Iraqi claims that a number of Mousl residents are secret ISIS plants is likely false, the unrest it risks fueling could ultimately lead to more fighting within the city, further delaying “final victory.”
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