The Iraqi Prime Minister declared the victory over the Islamic State, during a conference in Bagdad. He said their troops are now in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border.
Those areas were the last ones under the control of the Islamic state after it lost the town of Raqqa back in November. The US State department congratulated this news, and it said that the fight against the occupation of the terrorist group must continue.
“Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh [IS],” said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. “Our enemy wanted to kill our civilization, but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time,” he added.
The end of the “vile occupation” of IS
It’s been three years since ISIS took over large areas of Syria and Iraq (about a third of their territory) declaring thus a “caliphate.” ISIS imposed its rules on millions of people, most of them from the Islam. ISIS has left destruction, death, and about three million people displaced in Iraq. Only in Mosul, Iraq’s second most important city, it is estimated that ISIS is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 civilians. ISIS lost control over Mosul last July.
Due to their threat, not only to the Iraq and Syrian people but the whole world, it was created the U.S.-backed Global Coalition, with the aim of defeating ISIS from different fronts.
Recently the coalition welcomed and congratulated the announcements made by Iraq about the end of the war with the Islamic States.
“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,” tweeted the coalition.
The US State Department welcomed the end of the “vile occupation” of ISIS, too. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert expressed that the people in Iraq who had lived under the control of the jihadist are now free. On the other hand UK Prime Minister, Theresa May said that ISIS is still a threat beyond Iraqi borders, in Syria. However, she also congratulated Mr. Abadi on this “historic moment.”
“The United States joins the government of Iraq in stressing that Iraq’s liberation does not mean the fight against terrorism, and even against Isis [IS], in Iraq is over,” said spokeswoman, Heather Nauert.
Mr. Abadi’s announcement comes just two days after the Russian military declared it had accomplished its mission of defeating bandit units of ISIS in Syria. Last month, the Syrian government also said it has fully liberated the eastern border town of Albu Kamal, the last urban stronghold of IS in that State.
This is a crucial moment for the Iraqi people and especially for its Prime Minister, Mr. Abadi. However, even if he declared the end of the war against Daesh/IS, it is left to see if ISIS, in fact, stops its terrorist acts all over the world, but especially in the Iraqi and the Syrian regions.
The ISIS fighters have presumably escaped across the Turkish border; other might have dispersed into the Syrian countryside.
Is the war against ISIS really over?
ISIS has indeed suffered a series of defeats against the US-led coalition. However, declaring the total collapse of ISIS, and therefore the end of the war, might not be precisely an accurate thing to say. ISIS has lost control over most of the territory it once took arbitrarily to create its so-proclaimed caliphate.
It might be true that the Iraqi forces have successfully taken control over the territories under the ISIS’ influence and that they have been expelled from the country. However, the war against ISIS hasn’t finished for their ideology, and the possibilities of an insurgency are not over in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the world.
Hopefully, ISIS’ influence on the world and possible terrorist attacks will have a lower impact hereafter, but there are still risks especially in Iraq and Syria. Its cities might face the threat of suicide bombers, and the concept of jihadism might still drive its citizens.
As well, there are some concerns regarding the future actions of ISIS abroad. Some say its foreign fighters will escape from Syria to carry out attacks in different countries.
The Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to be living near the border with Syria; he has advised its followers to continue fighting. The coalition forces considered they might expect a new era of guerrilla warfare in both Iraq and Syria.
In fact, the Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the US-led operation to expel ISIS from Iraq and Syria said that it would set conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability alongside partner forces. The presence of the US troops in Iraq will continue, though some of them might be withdrawn in the following months. There are about 5000 U.S troops there.
Source: National Public Radio