Iraq has declared victory in its war against the ‘US funded Islamic State’ after years of conflict and bloodshed.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that Iraqi military forces had reclaimed full control of the country’s border with Syria at a conference in Baghdad.
Ibtimes.co.uk reports: A senior military commander confirmed that combat operations had been completed.
“All Iraqi lands are liberated from terrorist Daesh gangs and our forces completely control the international Iraqi-Syrian border,” Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah said in a statement released shortly after al-Abadi’s remarks. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for Isis.
Isis fighters overran nearly a third of Iraqi territory, including Mosul, the country’s second largest city, in the summer of 2014.
Over the past three and a half years, Iraqi ground forces closely backed by the US-led coalition have retaken all of that territory. However, Isis fighters remain capable of carrying out insurgent attacks in Iraq, and the group has recovered from past setbacks.
In November, Iraqi forces retook the last town held by Isis — Rawah, near the border with Syria. Over the following weeks Iraqi forces continued to clear patches of the country’s vast western deserts.
In the most significant victory over the extremists, Iraqi forces retook Mosul earlier this year. Al-Abadi declared the fight concluded in July, but clashes continued in the city for weeks afterward.
Iraq now faces the daunting challenge of reconstruction. The fighting caused massive devastation in many areas, and some 3 million Iraqis are still displaced.