Published: Sun, December 10, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

U.S. congratulates Iraq on end of war against IS

U.S. congratulates Iraq on end of war against IS

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has said that his country's war against Islamic State (IS) militants has come to a successful conclusion.

"Our enemy wanted to kill our civilization, but we have won through our unity and our determination", Abadi said of the three-year effort to dislodge the extremist IS. "The battle for a better future for Iraqis is happening now".

"We congratulate the Prime Minister and all the Iraqi people on this significant achievement, which many thought impossible", Brett McGurk wrote.

After more than nine months of mostly grueling urban combat, Al-Abadi declared victory over IS in Mosul in July.

Manning also said there are about 5,200 USA troops in Iraq. The Islamic State's growth also saw the United States enter Syria's battlefields, already crowded with Russian and Iranian-proxy forces that buttressed the unsteady rule of President Bashar al-Assad. "Long live Iraq and its people".

Federal government troops remain deployed throughout a string of disputed territories claimed by both Baghdad and Iraq's Kurds - who were also backed by US -led coalition forces in the fight against IS.

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Iraqi forces mopped up the last pockets of IS fighters from Iraq's western deserts Saturday, securing the country's border with Syria.

A senior Iraqi military commander says his country's war against the Islamic State group is over.

Abadi's comments came nearly in passing as he attended a conference with the journalists union Saturday.

The victory also comes at enormous cost.

Al-Abadi later in a televised speech lauded the victory.

The Pentagon has acknowledged that at least 801 civilians have been mistakenly killed in USA -led airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. "We have triumphed in little time".

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"Honorable Iraqis, your land has been completely liberated", he said.

ISIS' rise and the world's military response has created a devastating crisis for civilians and led to the displacement of more than 3.2 million people, according to the United Nations.

Last month, Iraqi forces and local tribal fighters captured Rawah, the last town in the country held by the Islamic State group, leaving just a slither of territory in the militants' hands. Hours before Abadi spoke, a auto bomb in Tikrit killed at least one person.

Abadi announced that the Islamic State no longer occupies significant territory in Iraq, and the fight against Islamic State was over after more than three years of combat operations.

The appetite for such a reconciliation will be tested as campaigning for national elections slated for May 2018 has begun.

IS fighters overran almost a third of Iraqi territory, including Mosul, the country's second largest city in the summer of 2014, declaring a caliphate that stretched from northern Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad.

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Some IS fighters are reported to have dispersed into the Syrian countryside, while others are believed to have escaped across the Turkish border.

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