Operations to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State group have begun, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced early Monday on state television.
“The time of victory has come and operations to liberate Mosul have started,” he said in an address broadcast by the Iraqiya channel.
“Today I declare the start of these victorious operations to free you from the violence and terrorism of Daesh (IS),” he said, addressing residents of the Mosul region.
Mr. al-Abadi vowed that only Army and police forces would enter Mosul.
“The force leading liberation operations is the brave Iraqi Army with the national police and they are the ones that will enter Mosul, not others,” he said.