The Iraqi government has announced that the country is completely free of Islamic State terrorists, following a three-year war.
The Iraqi forces recaptured the last areas still under IS control along the border with Syria, state television quoted Prime Minister Haider al-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.
In a separate tweet later, Abadi said: “Our heroic armed forces have now secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border. We defeated Daesh through our unity and sacrifice for the nation. Long live Iraq and its people.”
The U.S.-led coalition that has been supporting Iraqi force against Islamic State 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. Daesh is the Arabic name for Islamic State.
The Iraqi announcement comes two days after the Russian military declared it had accomplished its mission of defeating IS in neighbouring Syria.
Mosul, the group’s de facto capital in Iraq, fell in July after a grueling nine-month campaign backed by a U.S.-led coalition that saw much of the northern Iraqi city destroyed.
Islamic State’s Syrian capital Raqqa also fell to a U.S.-backed Kurdish-led coalition in September.