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

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.”

 


Iran reports 3,574 new virus infections, its highest yet

Updated 7 min 54 sec ago

Iran reports 3,574 new virus infections, its highest yet

  • A health ministry spokesman said 59 people had died of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours
  • A total of 164,270 people have tested positive for the virus in Iran

TEHRAN: Iran announced 3,574 new coronavirus infections Thursday, its highest daily count since the outbreak began in February.
It was the fourth straight day that the daily caseload had topped 3,000. The previous high was 3,186, recorded on March 30, at the height of the initial outbreak.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said that the surge in new cases might be the result of wider testing rather than a second wave of infection.
He said that Iran had now conducted more than a million tests.
But the health ministry has been taking no chances and has stepped up a public health campaign in recent days reminding people to protect themselves and observe social distancing.
The ministry spokesman said 59 people had died of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, taking Iran’s overall official toll to 8,071.
A total of 164,270 people have tested positive for the virus.