US-led coalition welcomes Iraqi announcement of end of ISIS caliphate

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Iraqi Security Forces. File photo: Reuters

ARA News

A spokesperson for the US-led coalition welcomed a statement made by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi,‏ announcing victory over ISIS, but cautioned that there is still tough fighting ahead.

“We are seeing the end of the fake Daesh state. The liberation of Mosul proves that. We will not relent and our brave forces will bring victory,” Abadi said in a statement after Iraqi forces captured the historic al-Nouri Mosque.

“We will continue to fight Daesh until every last one of them is killed or brought to justice,” Abadi added.

“ISIS’ so-called caliphate is crumbling; from the outside and from within,” US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon said on Thursday. “The Coalition will continue to support our Iraqi partners to defeat our common enemy.”

“Iraqi grit, determination, and support from the Coalition will lead to the imminent liberation of Mosul,” the American officer continued.

“This morning, in a dawn assault, the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service pushed further into the Old City, successfully liberating the al-Nouri Mosque area,” Col Dillon confirmed. “Iraqi Security Forces continued their advance on the two remaining ISIS-holdouts: the Old City and the al-Jamouri Hospital complex.”

Experts believe that the battle for Mosul could be over within one or two weeks. However, the risk of sleeper cells carrying out suicide attacks will remain.

Colonel Joe Scrocca, the Coalition’s Director of Public Affairs, told ARA News that they “welcome Prime Minister Abadi’s statement on the demise of the fake-caliphate.”

“There is still tough fighting to be done but the Coalition will continue to stand side-by-side with our Iraqi partners until Mosul is fully liberated and ISIS is defeated,” Col Scrocca continued.

Brigadier General William Turner, the US-led coalition’s Deputy General for Sustainment, said in an exclusive interview with ARA News last month that the defeat of ISIS in all of Iraq “is still months away.”

“We have seen ISIS elements in Hawija’s vicinity, out towards Tal Afar, and the Euphrates river valley,” Brig Gen Turner explained. “Iraqi security forces are well aware of it and they understand there is still fighting going ahead, when they complete the operation in Mosul –it’s not going to be end of this.”

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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