Pro-gov’t forces foil IS scheme to spoil Iraq celebration of victory over terrorism

An Iraqi solider waves the “V” victory sign following a great triumph over the Islamic State group. File photo

Diyala ( – Paramilitary troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) foiled on Monday a plot by Islamic State militants to spoil celebrations of the first anniversary of Iraq’s costly victory over the terrorist group.

Talib al-Musawi, the commander of Diyala axis in the Popular Mobilization Forces, said in a statement that a group of Islamic State militants tried to sneak into the province of Diyala in order to mar citizens’ celebrations of the last year’s great triumph over terrorism.

“The PMF managed to foil the infiltration attempt of the Islamic State militants, killing one of them,” al-Musawi said, adding that the security situation in Diyala province “is under control.”

Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared in December 2017 final victory over the terrorist Islamic State group three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

In a speech during the international media conference held at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad on Saturday, December 9, Abadi said, “Our troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. We announce the end of war against Islamic State.”

Abadi’s announcement came two days after Russia announced a similar victory over Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria. Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday on this occasion.

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