BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said on Saturday that Iraqi forces have driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.
The Iraqi forces recaptured the last areas still under IS control along the border with Syria, state television quoted Mr Abadi as telling an Arab media conference in Baghdad.
“Commander-in-Chief @HaiderAlAbadi announces that Iraq’s armed forces have secured the western desert & the entire Iraq Syria border, says this marks the end of the war against Daesh terrorists who have been completely defeated and evicted from Iraq,” the Federal Government’s official account tweeted.
Daesh is the Arabic name for Islamic State.
Several squadrons of Iraqi helicopters flew over Baghdad carrying Iraqi flags at noon, in an apparent rehearsal for a victory parade that Iraq is planning to hold in the coming days.
Senior Iraqi military commander Lieutenant General Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah also announced that combat operations against the extremists had concluded.
The US-led coalition that had been supporting Iraqi forces against Islamic State tweeted its congratulations to “the people of Iraq on their significant victory against #Daesh”.
Iraqi forces had captured Rawa, the last remaining town under Islamic State control, near the Syrian border, last month.
Mosul, the group’s de facto capital in Iraq, fell in July after a gruelling nine-month campaign backed by a US-led coalition that saw much of the northern Iraqi city destroyed.
Islamic State’s Syrian capital Raqqa also fell to a US-backed Kurdish-led coalition in September.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who in 2014 had declared in Mosul the founding of a new Islamic caliphate, released an audio recording on September 28 that indicated he was alive, after several reports he had been killed.
Baghdadi, who is believed to be hiding in the stretch of desert in the border area, urged his followers to keep up the fight despite setbacks.
Three arrested with tiger hides
KATHMANDU- The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Tuesday arrested three persons in possession of tiger hides.
The CIB said that Man Bahadur Tamang of Shailung Rural Municipality in Dolakha; Lokmaya Gurung of Barpak Sulikot Rural Municipality in Gorkha district and Amar Singh of Tilathi Koiladi Rural Municipality in Saptari district were arrested from Budhanilkantha in the capital city acting on a tip off about their involvement in smuggling of animals’ hides and skeleton.
All three have been sent to the Division Forests Office, Kathmandu for further actions. According to the Superintendent of Police Sudip Giri, the alleged would be booked as per the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 and CITES Convention, 1975.Follow @gorkhapost