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War with Islamic State over, declares Iraq

IANS | Baghdad |

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi announced on Saturday that the country’s war against the Islamic State (IS) militant group is over.

Al Abadi announced in a press conference that the remaining Iraqi region under the IS control, nearby the Iraqi border with Syria, was now under complete control of Iraq’s armed forces.

“Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I, therefore, announce the end of the war against Daesh (IS).

“Our enemy wanted to kill our civilisation but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time,” Al Abadi said.

The Iraqi armed forces issued a statement saying Iraq had been “totally liberated” from the IS.

The border zone contained the last few areas held by the IS, following its loss of the town of Rawa in November.

The Iraqi announcement came two days after the Russian military declared it had accomplished its mission of defeating the militant group in neighbouring Syria.

The IS had seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, when it proclaimed a “caliphate” and imposed its rule over some 10 million people.

But it suffered a series of defeats over the past two years, losing Iraq’s second city of Mosul this July and its de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria last month.