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Two Iraqi Christian towns freed

Since Mosul’s capture by ISIS fighters in June 2014, Mosul has been a vital stronghold for ISIS.

The largest city under ISIS control in Iraq and Syria, it was the city from which the group first declared the establishment of its so-called caliphate.

Since then, ISIS has gradually lost its other Iraqi cities — Ramadi, Tikrit and Falluja — to government forces.

About 1 million people are estimated to remain in Mosul, once a cosmopolitan trade hub of 2 million residents.