A man speaks on his phone next to destroyed houses at al Zohour area in Mosul, Iraq, January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
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Iraqi forces have captured all of eastern Mosul, dislodging ISIS militants from the last district they held east of the Tigris river, 100 days after the start of the U.S.-backed campaign, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.Mosul is ISIS' last major city stronghold in Iraq.Iraqi forces launched a campaign on Oct. 17 to retake Mosul from the hardline Sunni group, which captured the city in 2014, declaring from its Grand Mosque a "caliphate" that also spanned parts of Syria, ruled by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.The battle for Mosul, involving 100,000 Iraqi troops, members of the Kurdish security forces and Shiite militiamen, is the biggest ground operation in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 .The militants blew up a landmark hotel in western Mosul on Friday in an apparent attempt to prevent advancing Iraqi forces from using it as a base or a sniper position when the fighting moves west of the Tigris.
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