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Iraqis Celebrate Bitter Victory Over ISIS in Ruins of Mosul

Iraq's prime minister declared victory over ISIS in Mosul on Monday, three years after the militants seized the city.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declares Mosul's liberation from ISIS on July 10.

Abadi called the battle "a victory over darkness, brutality and terrorism."

Iraqi Prime Minister's Office via EPA

A member of Iraqi security forces holds an ISIS flag in the Old City of Mosul on July 10.

Iraqi security forces have wrested control of Mosul from ISIS and are now clearing portions of the city's historic quarter of explosives and hidden enemy fighters, the U.S. military said Monday.

ISIS seized the city in 2014 and made it the stronghold of a "caliphate" they said would take over the world.

Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters

Iraqis celebrate the liberation of Mosul in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on July 9. Iraq declared a week-long holiday to mark the victory.

 

Ali Abbas / EPA

Iraq's federal police members wave Iraq's national flag as they celebrate in the Old City of Mosul on July 9.

The declaration of victory marks the end of a nine-month offensive to retake Iraq's second-largest city. 

Fadel Senna / AFP - Getty Images

Smoke billows following an airstrike by U.S.-led international coalition forces targeting ISIS in Mosul on July 9.

Much of the city of 1.5 million has been destroyed in the fighting, its centuries-old stone buildings flattened by air strikes and other explosions. 

Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP - Getty Images

Iraqi forces walk through the destruction in Mosul's Old City on July 9.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP - Getty Images
Iraqi soldiers walk past the body of ISIS militants on July 9. Alaa Al-Marjani / Reuters
Iraqi soldiers walk past damaged buildings on July 9. Felipe Dana / AP

Children hold Iraq's national flag as they celebrate in the Old City of Mosul on July 9.

Fadel Senna / AFP - Getty Images
An Iraqi boy flashes the sign for victory in Mosul on July 9. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP - Getty Images

Iraqi women, who fled the fighting in the Old City, arrive in the city's western industrial district to be relocated on July 8.

The United Nations says 920,000 civilians have fled their homes since the military campaign began in October. Close to 700,000 people are still displaced.

Fadel Senna / AFP - Getty Images
Members of the Iraqi federal police pose with an upside-down ISIS flag in Mosul on July 8. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP - Getty Images

A woman carrying an infant walks by the destroyed al-Nuri Mosque as she flees the Old City on July 5.

One of the last acts of ISIS was to blow up the historic mosque and its famous leaning minaret.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP - Getty Images

Displaced Iraqis flee the Old City on July 5.

Suicide bombers have hidden among the displaced so fleeing Iraqis were stripping down to their underwear to show they aren't strapped with explosives. 

 

Ahmed Jalil / EPA

An Iraqi soldier takes up a position in a house on July 4.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP - Getty Images
Fleeing Iraqi civilians walk past the heavily damaged al-Nuri mosque on July 4. Felipe Dana / AP
Two men are detained for questioning in a basement, along with a suspected Islamic State fighter, center, as Iraqi forces continued their advance on July 3. The two men were later released. Felipe Dana / AP

A woman holds an injured girl in the Old City on July 3.

Felipe Dana / AP

An Iraqi soldier wearing a Superman shirt walks in the Old City of Mosul on July 3.

PHOTOS: Iraqi Forces Push Through ISIS-held Mosul as Civilians Flee

Fadel Senna / AFP - Getty Images