Iraqi PM Declares 'End of War against Isis' In Iraq

Iraqi PM Declares 'End of War against Isis' In Iraq

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday (December 9) announced the end of a three-year war by Iraqi forces to drive the Islamic State jihadist group out of the country.

"Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh [ISIS]," Abadi told a conference in Baghdad.

"Our enemy wanted to kill our civilization, but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time," he said.

ISIS seized vast areas north and west of Baghdad in a lightning offensive in 2014, endangering the very existence of the Iraqi state.

Iraq's fightback was launched with the backing of an air campaign waged by a US-led coalition, recapturing town after town from the clutches of the jihadists.

"I announce the good news: the liberation by Iraqi forces of the whole of the Iraqi-Syrian border," the prime minister told the conference organized by the Iraqi journalists' union.

ISIS jihadists have also suffered a series of major military defeats in Syria this year.

On Thursday, Russia's defense ministry said its air campaign to defeat ISIS in Syria had been "accomplished" and that the country was "completely liberated" from the group.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin said efforts to end the war were entering a "new stage" as the focus shifts from military intervention to political reform in Syria.

More than 340,000 people have been killed since the conflict broke out in March 2011 with protests against Assad's rule that sparked a brutal crackdown in the country.