Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared the "end of Isis" after the recapture of the Al-Nuri mosque in Mosul.

Iraqi special forces retook the mosque where the jihadist terror group announced its self-styled caliphate three years ago in a "lightning operation" following months of fighting.

Authorities previously said they expect the eight-month battle for Mosul to be over in the upcoming days as only a small number of Isis fighters remain in neighbourhoods of the Old City.

In a statement, Abadi hailed the significant victory as a sign of the end of Islamic State reign in Iraq.

He said: "The return of al-Nuri Mosque and al-Hadba minaret to the fold of the nation marks the end of the Daesh state of falsehood.

"We will continue to fight Daesh until every last one of them is killed or brought to justice. We are seeing the end of the fake Daesh state, the liberation of Mosul proves that. We will not relent, our brave forces will bring victory."

Iraqi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool added that the taking of the 850-year-old mosque is proof that the group's "fictitious state has fallen."

The insurgents blew up the mosque on 22 June. Isis had flown their black flag from the leaning al-Hadba (The Hunchback) minaret since 2014.

al-Nuri Mosque
Smoke billows from the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque after it was retaken by the Iraqi forces at the Old City in Mosul, IraqReuters
Mosul residents flee Islamic State Isis Daesh
A black jihadist flag hangs from Mosul's Al-Habda minaret at the Grand Mosque, where Isisleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his caliphate back in 2014Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters