BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State on Saturday after Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.
The announcement comes two days after the Russian military announced the defeat of the militants in neighbouring Syria, where Moscow is backing Syrian government forces.
Iraqi forces recaptured the last areas still under Islamic State control along the border with Syria, the military said.
“Honourable Iraqis: your land has been completely liberated. The dream of liberation is now a reality,” Abadi said in a televised address. He was speaking with five Iraqi flags and dozens of servicemen from different branches behind him.