updated 9:43 AM UTC, Dec 29, 2017

The Iraqi authorities have announced the completion of capturing Mosul. This message was delivered from the liberated city by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who arrived as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to personally congratulate servicemen and militias.

And although scattered pockets of armed resistance by Islamic State remain, a crushing blow has been dealt to ISIS in Iraq. What lies ahead is the elimination of the terrorists' presence on the entire territory of the country.

The capture of Mosul was accomplished thanks to the courage and perseverance of the Iraqi soldiers, the people's militia, and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The offensive showed the ability of the government and people of Iraq – a friendly nation to Russia –  to jointly overcome the challenges of terrorism. 

Yet, it should be noted that a high price was paid in the offensive to recapture Mosul. According to various reports, the losses of the Iraqi forces stand at some 30,000. Horrific suffering has been endured by civilians. During the fighting to liberate the city, some 7,000 its residents were killed, as a result of both ISIS actions and the air strikes by the US-led anti-ISIS coalition. About 900,000 Mosul residents have become refugees.

Moscow supports the actions by the Iraqi authorities aimed at restoring the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are certain that promoting intra-Iraqi national reconciliation, with due account of the interests of all ethnic and religious groups, will consolidate the progress in fighting terrorism.