The celebration comes days after the Iraqi forces recaptured Grand al Nuri Mosque, where Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi proclaimed a self-styled caliphate three years ago.

A member of Iraqi federal police waves an Iraqi flag as they celebrate victory of military operations against Daesh in West Mosul, Iraq, July 2, 2017.
A member of Iraqi federal police waves an Iraqi flag as they celebrate victory of military operations against Daesh in West Mosul, Iraq, July 2, 2017.

Iraqis on Sunday celebrated an expected victory over Daesh in Mosul, just blocks away from battles raging in the last few districts where the militants have dug in.

The celebration comes days after the Iraqi forces recaptured the Grand al Nuri Mosque, where Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi proclaimed a self-styled caliphate three years ago.

Earlier, a government statement said authorities were planning a week of nationwide celebrations, and Prime Minister Haider al Abadi is expected to visit Mosul to formally declare victory.

Mosul's fall would mark the effective end of the Iraqi half of the caliphate which Daesh declared three years ago in parts of Iraq and Syria.

The group still controls territory west and south of Mosul, where tens of thousands of civilians live.

Members of the Iraqi federal police play brass instruments during a celebration in the Old City of Mosul, where the gruelling battle to retake Iraq's second city from Daesh group fighters is now nearing its end, on July 2, 2017. (AFP)
Members of the Iraqi federal police play brass instruments during a celebration in the Old City of Mosul, where the gruelling battle to retake Iraq's second city from Daesh group fighters is now nearing its end, on July 2, 2017. (AFP)

Soldiers from the elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) retook the Makawi district of Mosul's Old City on Sunday, a military statement said, a few blocks from the western banks of the Tigris.

Reaching the river will give Iraqi forces control over the entire city and is expected by the end of this week.

A US-led international coalition is providing air and ground support to the offensive, which Iraq's army and militarised police are also fighting in a multi-pronged attack.

Federal police chief Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat said his forces had completed their mission in southern parts of the Old City on Saturday.

"Unfortunately until now there are families besieged and there are many discarded enemy corpses, and unfortunately many civilians have been martyred, so we must remove them," he said in western Mosul.

"The areas must be cleared of bombs. We must make the areas safe so that civilians can return."

Thousands trapped in Old City

Nearly nine months of grinding urban warfare have displaced 900,000 people, about half the city's pre-war population, and killed thousands, according to aid organisations.

Thousands of residents are believed to be trapped in the Old City with little food, water, medicine and no access to health services, according to those who managed to flee.

After CTS units captured the Grand al Nuri mosque on Thursday, Abadi declared the end of the Daesh caliphate, which he called "a state of falsehoood."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies