Iraqi PM declares war against ISIS has ended

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday (Dec 9) that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi delivers a speech in Baghdad, Iraq, on Dec 9, 2017.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi delivers a speech in Baghdad, Iraq, on Dec 9, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

BAGHDAD • Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said yesterday that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.

The Iraqi forces recaptured the last areas still under ISIS control along the border with Syria, state television quoted Mr Abadi as telling an Arab media conference in Baghdad.

"Commander-in-Chief @HaiderAlAbadi announces that Iraq's armed forces have secured the western desert & the entire Iraq-Syria border, says this marks the end of the war against Daesh terrorists who have been completely defeated and evicted from Iraq," the federal government's official account tweeted. Daesh is the Arabic name for ISIS.

The US-led coalition that has been supporting Iraqi force against ISIS tweeted its congratulations.

"The coalition congratulate the people of Iraq on their significant victory against #Daesh. We stand by them as they set the conditions for a secure and prosperous #futureiraq," said the tweet.

Last month, Iraqi forces captured Rawa, the last remaining town under ISIS control, near the Syrian border.

The forces fighting ISIS in both countries now expect a new phase of guerilla warfare, a tactic the militants have already shown themselves capable of.

Mosul, the group's de facto capital in Iraq, fell in July after a gruelling nine-month campaign backed by a US-led coalition that saw much of the northern Iraqi city destroyed.

ISIS' Syrian capital Raqqa also fell to a US-backed Kurdish-led coalition in September.

The forces fighting ISIS in both countries now expect a new phase of guerilla warfare, a tactic the militants have already shown themselves capable of.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 10, 2017, with the headline 'Iraqi PM declares war against ISIS has ended'. Print Edition | Subscribe