Although celebrations within Iraq have been ongoing for more than a week, the Pentagon waited until this Monday, when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory, to offer the Iraqi government a tentative congratulation on their victory over the Islamic State in Mosul.

“I announce from here the end and the failure and the collapse of the terrorist state of falsehood and terrorism which the terrorist Daesh announced from Mosul,” Haider al-Abadi said in a speech shown on state television.

Media reports indicating that victory has been within the grasp of Iraqi Security Forces on the ground in Mosul for months have done little to provide a depth of clarity regarding the brutality of the fight faced by U.S. backed fighters in Mosul, nor has it shined a light on the challenges that will remain after ISIS’ defeat, which may be why the Defense Department was conservative in the language it chose when congratulating local forces on their victory.

“While there are still areas of the old city of Mosul that must be back-cleared of explosive devices and possible ISIS fighters in hiding,” Inherent Resolve officials said, “Iraqi forces have Mosul now firmly under their control.”