UK PM Warns Isis Is Not Yet Defeated, Still Pose Threat to Iraq
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the Islamic State (ISIS) is not yet defeated, after her Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi announced victory over ISIS in Iraq.
May congratulated Abadi and the Iraqis on “this historic moment,” paying tribute to the Iraqi security forces for their “courage and sacrifice.”
Abadi announced on Saturday the end of a three-year war by Iraqi forces to defeat ISIS militants.
“Daesh no longer hold significant territory in Iraq or Syria. This signals a new chapter towards a more peaceful, prosperous country,” she said in a statement on Saturday (December 9).
British Premier said the UK played a “leading role” in supporting the Iraqi security forces including the Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS in Iraq.
British military jets have carried out 1,350 air raids against ISIS in Iraq, May added, and British advisers trained more than 60,000 Iraqi security forces.
She noted, “We must be clear however, that whilst Daesh [ISIS] is failing, they are not yet defeated. They still pose a threat to Iraq, including from over the Syrian border.”
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 fight back was launched with the backing of the Kurdish Peshmerga and an air campaign waged by a U.S.-led coalition, recapturing town after town from the clutches of the militants.