Iraqi PM Officially Announces Victory Over Daesh in Mosul

Published July 11th, 2017 - 07:45 GMT
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (C) arrives in the al-Tayaran neighborhood of Mosul on July 9, 2017 to meet with military commanders after the government's announcement of the "liberation" of the embattled city. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (C) arrives in the al-Tayaran neighborhood of Mosul on July 9, 2017 to meet with military commanders after the government's announcement of the "liberation" of the embattled city. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially announced victory over Islamic State militants in their former stronghold of Mosul.

"We announce victory from the heart of the liberated Mosul ... We defeated Daesh with our unity," al-Abadi said in a televised speech, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

"With our blood, sacrifices and efforts, we liberated Iraq, its land and its people," he added.

He said the announcement marked the failure of the "state of myth" that the terrorist group tried to establish in Mosul. Official Iraqi media have been calling Islamic State plans to establish a caliphate in Iraq "The State of Myth" in recent weeks.

On Sunday, al-Abadi toured Mosul and congratulated soldiers "on achieving [a] big victory."

Iraq is holding a week-long celebration of the retaking of Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq.

US Central Command welcomed al-Abadi's announcement and congratulated the Iraqi Security Forces on the victory.

"Mosul would have been a challenging fight for any army, and the coalition is proud to stand side-by-side with our Iraqi partners as they celebrate their hard-fought victory," said Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force in Operation Inherent Resolve.

"The loss of one of its twin capitals and a jewel of their so-called caliphate is a decisive blow," Townsend said in a statement, adding that Iraqi militia forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and the global coalition also deserve a share of the credit for the hard-won victory.

The statement noted that there are still areas of the Old City of Mosul that must be cleared of explosive devices and possible Islamic State fighters in hiding.

US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson congratulated al-Abadi and the Iraqi Security Forces for their victory in Mosul.

Trump said it represented a triumph "over terrorists who are the enemy of all civilized people." In a statement Trump also mourned the thousands of Iraqis killed and the millions who suffered at the hands of Islamic State.

"We grieve with the Iraqi people for the loss of heroic soldiers, who gave their lives to restore life to their country and we honour their sacrfice," he said.

Trump added that the victory signals that Islamic State's days in Iraq and Syria are numbered and the US will continue to seek its total destruction.

Tillerson called the liberation of Mosul is a "critical milestone" in the fight against Islamic State.

He said the victory "underscores the success of the international effort led by the Iraqi Security Forces," but said there is still much work to be done.

Under Iraqi leadership, the US and its coalition partners will continue to work closely with the United Nations to stabilize liberated areas throughout Mosul, he pledged.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres vowed to provide UN support to aid the displaced communities and restore the rule of law to the freed areas. Since the military campaign to retake Mosul began in October, some 920,000 civilians have fled their homes, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

The United Nations will stand by the government as it creates the conditions for the return of displaced people and the rule of law, Gutteres said.

The radical group seized Mosul in mid-2014.

In October last year, Iraq started a US-backed military campaign to dislodge Islamic State from the city.

The Mosul operation coincides with a US-supported attack by local fighters in neighbouring Syria aimed at expelling Islamic State from its de facto capital of al-Raqqa.


© 2021 dpa GmbH

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