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The Wall Street Journal: Iraqis celebrate impending liberation of Mosul from Islamic State

MOSUL, Iraq — Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated Iraqi military forces during a visit here following nearly nine months of battle to oust Islamic State, meeting with commanders and greeting residents, with the extremists confined to a tiny patch of territory.

But he stopped short of declaring a final victory on Sunday. Abadi’s visit had raised expectations that he would announce the full recapture of the nation’s second-largest city, but Iraqi forces were still battling Islamic State fighters on Sunday over a narrow strip of land near the Tigris River.

“Victory is settled and remaining Daesh [fighters] are trapped in the last spans,” Abadi said, using another name for the ruthless Sunni Muslim militant group after meeting with security commanders at the Nineveh province operations command.

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