As a reminder, Mosul is where the Islamic State achieved its greatest military victory when it captured the city in just four days on June 29, 2014 and handed the Iraqi military a humiliating defeat, sending shock waves through the region. Subsequent looting of Mosul's central bank provided the Islamic State with over $400 million in "seed funding" which the terrorist organization promptly put to bad use. The Iraqi PMI was expected to make an official victory announcement in the northern city later Sunday, after U.S.-backed Iraqi forces waged more than eight months of battle to reclaim it.
Troops have in recent days been fighting to clear the final Islamic State-occupied pockets of Mosul's dense Old City, on the western bank of the Tigris river.
Loaders and other heavy machinery cleared paths for Iraqi soldiers, who appeared at ease ahead of the recapture, despite bursts of gunfire nearby.
At the same time, the U.S.-led coalition said Sunday it had carried out two strikes near Mosul that destroyed 21 Islamic State fighting positions. Reporting on location, the WSJ adds that Humvees patrolling the area rolled over downed electrical lines "in a stark indication of the toll the siege has taken on Mosul's infrastructure and the likely high cost of rebuilding the city and resuming basic services there."