Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi predicted that US-backed Iraqi forces were just a few days away from ousting the last Islamic State forces from their last positions in Mosul’s Old City, a campaign that has lasted eight months. Iraqi forces say that about 350 Islamic State forces are dug in among about 50,000 civilians in Mosul. Residents who have escaped from the Old City, say that they have little food, water or medicine in the Old City. “The victory announcement will come in a very short time,” Al-Abadi said on his website. That would bring to an end half of the Islamic State self-declared caliphate in 2014, although Islamic State continues to hold positions in Syria. There, as well, Islamic State has lost significant territory and Raqqa, the seat of Islamic State power, is nearly encircled by a US-backed, Kurdish-led coalition
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