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23:38, 16 December 2017 Saturday
16:45, 17 November 2017 Friday

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Baghdad declares ‘end’ of ISIL presence in Iraq
Baghdad declares ‘end’ of ISIL presence in Iraq

After yearlong fight, Iraqi authorities claim to have finally broken back of notorious terrorist group

World Bulletin / News Desk

The ISIL terrorist group’s presence in Iraq has effectively come to an end following the “liberation” of the city of Rawa in the western Anbar province, Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji declared Friday.

Earlier the same day, Iraqi army forces backed by pro-government tribal fighters and U.S.-led coalition air power captured Rawa from the terrorist group following a weeks-long campaign.

Located roughly 230 kilometers west of provincial capital Ramadi, Rawa had been considered ISIL’s last remaining stronghold in Iraq.

In a statement, al-Araji congratulated the Iraqi people, saying: “ISIL’s military presence in Iraq has finally ended.”

Iraqi forces are now expected to begin mopping-up operations in remote parts of Anbar with a view to finding and neutralizing remaining ISIL elements.

Fighters affiliated with the Hashd al-Shaabi (a largely Shia component of the Iraqi Armed Forces) are now securing Anbar’s 300-kilometer-long border with Syria, Kazem Abdel-Wahid, a Hashd al-Shaabi commander, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

ISIL has recently suffered a string of crushing defeats in both Iraq and Syria after overrunning vast swathes of territory in both countries in mid-2014.

Late last month, the ISIL-held city of Al-Qaim, also located in the western Anbar province, was also finally retaken by the Iraqi army and its allies.

 


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