Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government has announced full liberation of borders with Syria from Islamic State militants.
In a speech during the international media conference held on Saturday at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said “our troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. We announce the end of war against Islamic State.”
“Our battle against the enemy who wanted to kill our civilization, however, we gained victory through our unity and determination that made us defeat IS in short time,” he said.
“Achieving renaissance requires unity among the nation. Defeated nation cannot defeat the enemy,” Abadi said.
Abadi’s declaration came after Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Upper Euphrates and Jazirah Combing Operations, announced liberation of all Iraqi lands from IS.
In a statement, Yarallah said troops of the army and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), backed by fighter jets, managed to liberate the desert between Nineveh and Anbar.
The troops, according to Yarallah, “purged more than 90 villages and over 16,000 square kilometers. International borders between Iraqi and Syrian borders from north of Euphrates at al-Rummana region reaching until Tal Sufuq, an area of 183 kilometers, have been controlled.”
“Our troops managed to gain control on international Iraqi-Syrian borders from al-Waleed to Rabia border crossings,” he added.
On Friday, troops purge 35 villages and an area of 4,300 square kilometers within the second part of the second phase of operations to comb Jazirah and Upper Euphrates regions, according to Yarallah.
In November, Abadi said 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.