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Iraqi Forces Retake Eastern Mosul

Civilians congratulate Lt. Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, second from right, Iraqi ground forces commander as security forces patrol in the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq, Jan. 18, 2017.

The eastern section of Mosul has been completely liberated from Islamic State jihadists after a massive offensive mission began last month, an Iraqi commander said Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference, Staff General Talib al-Shaghati said that Iraqi forces took control of the last remaining neighborhoods on the eastern shore of the Tigris River, which roughly divides the city into two districts.

“The east side of Mosul, including the most important areas, is done [under control],” he said.

Shaghati, who commands Iraqi counterterrorism forces, called the success of Iraqi forces “unprecedented,” though he said there are still small places in northern Mosul that still need to be secured.

The securing of eastern Mosul comes about three months after Iraqi forces began their bombardment of the city in October.

IS extremists took control of Mosul about two-and-a-half years ago. Mosul is Iraq's second-largest city.