Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi authorities will declare final victory over Islamic State in a military parade on December 9, a senior security source was quoted saying.
“The parade by the Iraqi armed forces, represented by the federal police, army and popular units, will take place on Saturday, during which, the victory against Islamic State and terrorism will be declared,” the source told the Russian Novosti agency.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said during a weekly press briefing in November that his country has defeated Islamic State over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied. Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and Anbar’s Annah, Rawa and Qaim.
In July, Abadi declared victory over Islamic State militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014. More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign.
It was from the Grand Nuri al-Kabir mosque when the group’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in a video him making the sermon proclaiming the establishment of an Islamist “caliphate” in the Old City’s Grand Nuri Mosque in June 2014.