Iraq declares end of war against Daesh

“I announce the good news: the liberation by Iraqi forces of the whole of the Iraqi-Syrian border,” Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said in a conference in Baghdad on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 09 December 2017
0

Iraq declares end of war against Daesh

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi on Saturday declared the end of military operations against Daesh and the liberation of all Iraqi territory formerly held by it.

“Your land has been completely liberated, and your raped cities and villages have returned to the homeland, and the dream of liberation has become a reality,” he said in a broadcast address to the Iraqi people.

“We have accomplished the difficult mission in hard circumstances, and we have won with the help of God, the steadfastness of our people and the bravery of our armed forces,” he added.

“We declare to our people and to all the world that the our heroes arrived at the last Daesh stronghold, liberated it and raised the flag of Iraq over the western parts of Anbar (province).”

Abadi said Sunday would be a national holiday to celebrate “Victory Day.”

Vast swathes of northern and western Iraq fell to Daesh in June 2014. Since then, Iraqi security forces, backed by Shiite-dominated paramilitary groups and the US-led coalition, have fought to liberate those lands.

Tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel were killed, and more than 5 million people displaced, during the war, with an estimated $100 billion worth of destruction to infrastructure and private property.

Al-Jazeera, the vast desert between Anbar in the west and Nineveh province in the north, which stretches along the border with Syria, was Daesh’s last stronghold in Iraq.

Abadi’s announcement came after Special Forces Gen. Abdul-Ameer Yar Allah, commander of operations in Al-Jazeera and the Upper Euphrates, said his troops had completed their mission by liberating the desert area and taking control of the 183-km-long border with Syria.

The end of the war leaves Iraq facing many challenges, particularly corruption, against which Abadi launched a campaign last month.

“Combating corruption in Iraq is much harder than combating Daesh,” Rahman Al-Jobouri, a political analyst based in the US, told Arab News.

“Abadi needs time and political will. He doesn’t have much time until the elections, and the political will isn’t available.”
 


Ramadan in Sudan: Iftar with the ‘flavor of revolution’

Sudanese protesters attend the Friday prayers near the military headquarters in Khartoum during an ongoing sit-in demanding a civilian-led government transition. (AFP)
Updated 19 May 2019
0

Ramadan in Sudan: Iftar with the ‘flavor of revolution’

  • For some this holy month might be the first, without Bashir’s regime, for many years

KHARTOUM: Over the past 30 years, the Sudanese people have lived under the repressive regime of Omar Al-Bashir. But, since the surge of protests that began in the city of Atbara on Dec. 19, in what was to become the start of the Sudanese revolution, citizens hoped that this Ramadan might be the first for many years, and for some, of their entire lives, without the president.

Now, that dream has been realized.
Under Bashir’s rule, poverty stalked the country, but despite the increase in destitution, the values of solidarity and compassion remained strong throughout Sudanese society. Now, as the revolution enters its next phase, those traits endure.
The sit-in in front of the General Command of the Sudanese Armed Forces represents the largest manifestation yet of solidarity and compassion among the general public, who have made this latest protest a symbol of their desire to form a civil government, and turn the country toward the path of democracy and freedom.
Thousands of Sudanese have marched to the rallies, with families arriving hand-in-hand, including their young children in tow, carrying food and drink to prepare for iftar in the courtyard.
The turnout includes hundreds of Sudanese from voluntary organizations providing Ramadan meals to the fasting protesters, and even the soldiers guarding the building, painting a colorful picture of the true spirit of the holy month.
The most prominent charity leader in Sudan, Fares Al-Nour, who was arrested before the overthrow of the Bashir regime, says two centers have been established within the sit-in to supply protesters and soldiers alike for iftar.
Alaa Eddin Sulaiman, an activist, told Arab News that this year’s Ramadan came with the “flavor of the revolution” and that the Sudanese people were expressing joy that the holy month had arrived with Bashir and his regime forced to go.
“We are preparing for a new era, in which the winds of democracy, justice, freedom and supremacy of the law will prevail,” he said.