Nineveh (Iraqinews.com) Dozens of Islamic State militants have surrendered to security forces after the militant group was completely driven out of its last stronghold in Iraq, a security official said.
“About 53 Islamic State terrorists gave up their weapons at al-Hadar district, 80 km west of Mosul, before handing themselves into joint Iraqi forces,” Brigadier General Saad Ahmed al-Janabi from the Interior Ministry’s Emergency Response Department told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
“Of all, 25 IS militants were found to be Iraqis, who joined the militant group after the fall of Mosul city in 2014, while the other 28 militants are of Arab and European nationalities,” Janabi said.
“The local terrorists were handed to the cabinet’s homeland security apparatus, while the foreign militants were moved to the Counter Terrorism Service for deportation after coordination with the embassies of their countries,” he added.
On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced liberation of the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from IS militants, who had captured it in 2014. More than 25000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.
Abadi declared on Saturday final victory over Islamic State 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, 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 destroy our civilization, is over. Thus, we gained victory through our unity and determination that made us defeat IS in short time,” he said.
Abadi’s announcement comes 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.