Iraq to declare final victory after purging Daesh from desert: Abadi

Press TV – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says Baghdad will declare final victory against Daesh Takfiri terrorists after the country purges the remaining militants from desert areas.

Speaking at a Tuesday press conference, Abadi, however, noted that Daesh Takfiri terrorists have already been defeated in Iraq from a military perspective.

The comments came a few days following the collapse of the pro-claimed caliphate of Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

On Friday, Iraqi armed forces liberated the town of Rawa near the border with Syria, which was the last remaining town under Daesh’s control, and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings.

Two days later, Syrian army soldiers, backed by pro-government fighters from popular defense groups, fully liberated Bukamal, Daesh’s last stronghold in Syria, which is a strategic city in the country’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr on the border with Iraq.

The recapture of the two towns marked an end to Daesh’s reign of terror, which started in 2014 with the group making vast territorial gains in a lightning offensive and establishing its self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Raqqah.

Iraqi pro-government forces gather in the town of Rawa in Anbar Province after recapturing the Euphrates valley town from Daesh Takfiri terrorists on November 18, 2017. (AFP photo)

Abadi, also warned of the ramifications of political divisions in Iraq, saying that such disputes will pave the ground for Daesh to carry out attacks again.

The Iraqi prime minister hailed the Monday verdict by Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court that ruled the Kurdish independence referendum unconstitutional and called on Kurds not to resort to violence.

On September 25, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held the non-binding referendum on secession from Iraq in defiance of stiff opposition from the central government in Baghdad and much of the international community. Kurdish officials have claimed that over 90 percent of voters said ‘Yes’ to separation from Iraq.

Political observers have warned that KRG’s referendum scenario is in line with Israel’s policy of dividing the regional Muslim states.

After the referendum, Baghdad ordered the KRG to hand over airports in the regional Kurdish capital of Erbil, and the city of Sulaimaniya, as well as its border crossings to the central Iraqi government.

It also asked the KRG to either cancel the result of the plebiscite or face potential sanctions, international isolation, and military intervention.

A ban on international flights into and out of the Iraqi Kurdish region also took effect on September 29.

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court had already ordered on November 6 that no region or province could break away from Iraq. The KRG said last week that it abided by the ruling, expressing hope that the decision would set the stage for dialog between Baghdad and Erbil.