TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening Ali Akbar Velayati announced that a meeting of the Islamic Awakening Supreme Council is slated to be held in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad this weekend.

The 9th session of the Islamic Awakening Supreme Council is planned to be held in Baghdad on Saturday and Sunday, Velayati said at a joint press conference with Head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq Ammar Hakim in Baghdad on Thursday.

“Islamic scholars from 22 countries will take part in the Baghdad conference, the majority of whom are Sunni brothers and the rest are Shiites and from other sects of Muslim countries,” he noted.

He further welcomed the concurrence of the international event with the massive operation to liberate Iraq’s northern city of Mosul from Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group and said the conference is a symbol of Islamic scholars’ support for “the Iraqi people’s righteous fight to defend their territorial integrity”.

The remarks came as the Iraqi army troops backed by Hashd al-Shaabi, known as Popular Mobilization Forces, have managed to recapture vast areas south of Mosul from Daesh terrorists.

The Iraqi army launched the offensive on October 16 aimed at wresting Mosul from the hands of Daesh.

"The time has come for the greatest victory," Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced late Sunday on state TV. "I announce the start of Liberating Mosul Operation, by the will of Iraqis, and after depending on Allah."

Al-Abadi said that Daesh would be "punished" for its crimes and that the province's cities and villages will be rebuilt.

"We will rebuild what those criminals have destroyed," he said. "We will bring life back to Mosul and all other areas around Mosul."

Though the operation began Sunday, its plans had been known long before.

Iraq's air force dropped leaflets warning Mosul residents that the liberators are coming, and the Baghdad government directed broadcasts directly into the heart of the occupied city.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces have circled the country's second-largest city and cut off any supply — or escape — routes that the Daesh fighters holed-up in Mosul could use.