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The New Arab

A Mosul victory is 'near' pledges Iraqi PM

Haider Abadi called for Mosul residents to cooperate with Iraqi security forces [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 4 October, 2016

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made a radio address to residents of Mosul on Tuesday, promising victory and liberation from Islamic State rule.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said "victory is near" as he pledged to recapture Mosul from Islamic State [IS] group militants, in a radio address to residents of the city on Tuesday.

It was the first such address by Abadi, though it was unclear how many residents of Mosul, which was seized by IS in 2014, heard his remarks, as the militants have sought to limit communication with the outside world.

"Today we are close to you, and you are close to us, and victory is near, with God's help," Abadi said, according to a copy of his remarks distributed by his office.

"Today we are advancing and tomorrow we will be victorious together, and then we will work together to bring back life and services and stability to every city and village," he said.

Abadi also called for Mosul residents to cooperate with Iraqi security forces, and said that: "You are today closer than any previous time to being rescued from the injustice and tyranny and cruelty of [IS]."

Iraq has not announced a specific time for the start of the operation to retake the city, but various Western officials have indicated it could begin this month.

Abadi's comments came after Iraqi forces stormed into the last IS stronghold in Ramadi Island.

"The army troops entered Albu Assaf area, and continue their advance in order to liberate the area from the control of the IS militants," an army statement said.

"Iraqi forces were able to capture Albu Diab, Chaban and Albu Alli Jassim in Ramadi Island from IS grip," Major General Ismail Mahlawi, Commander of the Anbar Operations told The New Arab.

As the Mosul operation looms, it remains unclear how forces will fight their way into the city before launching an assault.

The operation may also precipitate a major humanitarian crisis, with the UN warning up to one million people could be displaced.

Before fleeing the city, the hundreds of thousands of residents of Mosul will also be at extreme risk of being caught in the crossfire as IS and Iraqi forces clash, and could be held as human shields by the militants.

Agencies contributed to this report

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