For a major chunk of the past administration, Barack Obama struggled with trying to defeat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
In less than one year after Donald Trump has taken office, the nation of Iraq has declared victory over the terrorist group.
According to The Washington Post, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced an end to the war against the Islamic State group, which once controlled and terrorized two-thirds of the country.
“This victory was achieved . . . when Iraqis united to face a heinous enemy that didn’t want us to see this day,” Abadi said at a press conference Saturday.
“They wanted to return us back to the Dark Ages.”
The final victory was achieved when, according to the Post, the “rugged, sparsely populated desert region bordering Syria has been ‘cleansed’ of Islamic State fighters and that the porous border that had underpinned the self-declared caliphate that straddled both countries has been fully secured.”
The turning point of the fight for control of Iraq was the nine-month battle for the city of Mosul, which was won in July.
Mosul, an ancient city that was destroyed by both Islamic State rule and the nine-month campaign to recapture it, was the last major stronghold of the terrorist group in the country.
However, pockets of resistance still remained throughout the country. With Saturday’s announcement, it appeared those pockets had finally been eliminated.
The fight against the Islamic State group was declared over in Syria by Iran and Russia last month, although there are continued pockets of fighting there.
In a tweet, the U.S.-led global coalition congratulated the Iraqis on their triumph, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.
The Coalition congratulate the people of Iraq on their significant victory against #Daesh. We stand by them as they set the conditions for a secure and prosperous #futureiraq pic.twitter.com/pJlGImT1Yu
— The Global Coalition (@coalition) December 9, 2017
Less than one month ago, Defense Secretary James Mattis said that only 5 percent of the terror group’s infrastructure remained.
“Our nations’ dedication to defeating the terrorist enemy is evident in the progress we have made since our last gathering here … 95 percent of the territory once held by ISIS is now liberated, and our partners continue to secure more each day,” Mattis said.
““Mosul, Tal Afar and Hawijah have been liberated; efforts to liberate the final pockets of ISIS-held territory in Anbar province are progressing rapidly.”
What a difference a year — and a political will to defeat the terrorist group — makes. Sayonara, JV team!
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