The liberation of Mosul from Islamic State group militants will be announced in a few days, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday.
"It's a matter of a few days and we will announce the total liberation of Mosul," Abadi said.
The PM's announcement came as Iraqi forces backed by an international coalition pushed further into the IS group's last stronghold in western Mosul.
Iraqi forces were seen pushing into the Bab al-Beed neighbourhood in Mosul's Old City in footage obtained by the Associated Press.
Since the battle for Mosul began over eight months ago, the IS group has lost much of its territory in Iraq and are expected to make their last stand in Mosul's Old City.
Around 150,000 civilians are thought to be trapped in the Old City, where conditions are deteriorating.
The city, once considered to be the IS group's Iraqi 'capital,' is the last urban bastion of the militants' presence in Iraq.
The group blew up Mosul's historic Nuri mosque on Wednesday, which was also the place where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his 'caliphate' in 2014.
Officials from the anti-IS alliance said the destruction of the ancient site signals the group's imminent defeat in Mosul, with Prime Minister al-Abadi describing the shock move as an "official declaration of defeat".
Copyright @ 2022 The New Arab.