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Moscow hopes liberation of Mosul will help restore Iraq’s territorial integrity

MOSCOW, July 10. /TASS/. Moscow hopes that the liberation of Mosul will help restore Iraq’s territorial integrity and promote intra-Iraqi reconciliation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday after the Iraqi authorities declared liberation of Mosul from Islamic State terrorists.

"Moscow support the actions of the Iraqi authorities aimed at restoring the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the ministry said.

"We are confident that progress in the process of intra-Iraqi national reconciliation with due account of the interests of all ethnic and religious groups will help consolidate success in anti-terrorist efforts."

"Liberation of Mosul has become possible thanks to the courage and persistence of the Iraqi military, people’s militias and Kurdish Peshmerga units," the ministry said. "It has proved that the government and the people of friendly Iraq can confront terrorist threats through pooled efforts."

"At the same time, it cannot but be noted that a heavy price has been paid for Mosul’s liberation," the ministry noted. "According to various sources, losses of the Iraqi military amounted to some 30,000 men. About 7,000 Mosul residents were killed during the liberation operation, both as a result of actions by Islamic State militants and in airstrikes of the US-led anti-IS coalition. Nearly a million of Mosul resident (900,000) became refugees."

"And although sporadic beds of Islamists’ armed resistance still remain, a smashing blow has been delivered on positions of Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia). Further plans are to exterminate terrorist presence in the entire country," the ministry said.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi officially declared the final liberation of Mosul from Islamic State terrorists who had held the city for more than three years.