It's only a matter of time until Islamic State militants lose their hold on the city of Mosul, says EWN's Middle East correspondent Paula Slier.
However, Slier notes that the defeat may not mean the end of Isis or or mark the end of terrorism in Iraq.
Iraqi government forces, with support from other troops, are advancing the militant group's last major stronghold in the country.
Mosul has been occupied by Isis since 10 June 2014, but Slier says this may soon come to an end.
It's not a question of if Mosul will fall, it's a question of when.— Paula Slier, EWN's Middle East correspondent
Slier says the advance has both symbolical and strategic significance.
According to Slier, many view Mosul as the cultural capital of Isis because it is where Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his caliphate.
She says that when Isis falls it will signal the end of the symbolic Islamic State caliphate.
Strategically, the Iraqi army will be able to limit the movement of Jhidist fighters, their weapons and supplies from across Syrian and Turkish borders.
Sleir explains that critical oil fields will return into the hands of Baghdad, as Isis has been selling oil on the black market to finance its operations.
Experts say it could take two weeks for the troops of nearly 100 000 to reach the city centre of Mosul, but there may be a protracted war that could last a few months.
5 000 refugees have already fled to Syria since the start of the operation and a civilian population of at least one million is trapped in the city.
Listen to her in-depth analysis below: