Iraq's state TV says the country's prime minister has arrived in Mosul to declare victory over the Islamic State in the more than eight-month old operation to drive the militants from the city, reports the AP. "The commander in chief of the armed forces [Prime Minister] Haider al-Abadi arrived in the liberated city of Mosul and congratulated the heroic fighters and Iraqi people for the great victory," the office of Haider al-Abadi said in a statement on Sunday, per Reuters. Dressed in a black uniform of a type worn by Iraqi special forces, al-Abadi was shown on Sunday descending from a military plane and was greeted by senior security forces commanders. Fighting Sunday was heavy, with the increasingly cornered militants sending female suicide bombers; some 30 ISIS fighters were killed attempting to flee by crossing the Tigris.
Lt. Gen. Jassim Nizal of the Iraq army's 9th Division said Sunday his forces have achieved "victory" in the sector allotted to them, after a similar announcement by the militarized Federal Police. Nizal's soldiers danced to patriotic music atop tanks even as airstrikes sent plumes of smoke into the air nearby. Backed by US-led coalition, Iraq launched the operation to retake Mosul in October. Iraqi state TV says government forces drove the militants from all areas and are "chasing" them in some areas in the city. The militants captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in a matter of days in the summer of 2014. (Read more Mosul stories.)