Iraq declares national victory over ISIS

12 December 2017 (Last Updated December 12th, 2017 18:43)

Iraqi Security Forces have declared all national cities and towns free from the control of the terrorist group ISIS.

Iraq declares national victory over ISIS
A M109A6 Paladin conducts a fire mission in support of the Iraqi security forces’ mission to defeat ISIS. Credit: US Army photo by Spc. Christopher Brecht.

Iraqi Security Forces have declared all national cities and towns free from the control of the terrorist group ISIS.

The announcement follows the counter-ISIS military campaign led by an international coalition lasting more than three years.

Commenting on the liberation, Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tweeted: “Our heroic armed forces have now secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border. We defeated ISIS through our unity and sacrifice for the nation. Long live Iraq and its people.”

The global coalition to defeat ISIS has focused on providing military support, preventing the entry of foreign fighters, stopping funding, and addressing humanitarian crises in the region.

“While the announcement by the Iraqi Government is a historic moment, Iraq’s liberation does not mean the fight against terrorism and ISIS in Iraq is over.”

Increasing violence in Iraq has resulted in the internal displacement of more than 3.2 million people, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US Department of State spokesperson Heather Ann Nauert congratulated Abadi on the victory.

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister For Defence Marise Payne and Minister For Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop issued a joint statement congratulating the people of Iraq in their fight against ISIS.

The statement reads: “While today’s announcement by the Iraqi government is an historic moment, Iraq’s liberation does not mean the fight against terrorism and ISIS in Iraq is over.

“ISIS fighters who escaped capture will seek to conduct an insurgency to continue their legacy of death and destruction. The biggest challenge is to bring security, peace and unity to all Iraqis through inclusive, representative democracy and political equality.”