Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday announced the victory against ISIS from the heart of Mosul, saying “no one” but Iraqis were the liberators of the northern city in an official victory speech.
“I announce from here to the whole world the end, the collapse and the failure of the mythical, terrorist state of ISIS, which ISIS militants announced from here, from Mosul city three years ago,” Abadi said.
“It is your right to feel proud,” Abadi told Iraqis. He said the victory came after Iraqi planning.
He said Iraqis “do not share” this achievement with other nationalities.
“Nobody fought or sacrificed for this land, only Iraqis,” Abadi reiterated, but he thanked other countries, who “stood against terrorism and ISIS” and supported Iraqis.
“Just like we were united against ISIS, we need to be united in bringing stability and those who fled” back to Mosul, he said.
“We thank God for this victory,” he said, concluding his speech with “long live Iraq.”
Before his televised victory speech, Abadi announced victory over ISIS in Mosul from the operations room of the Counter-Terrorism Service, his media office said on Twitter on Monday.
State TV said earlier that Abadi would soon deliver an “historic statement” after he arrived in Mosul a day earlier to congratulate military commanders on a nearly nine month battle to dislodge the insurgents.
From the Old City we announce the liberation of Mosul and remember the heroic sacrifices of our armed forces and their families pic.twitter.com/9GyZ7gzXV5— Haider Al-Abadi (@HaiderAlAbadi) July 10, 2017
ISIS overran large areas of the country in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since regained much of the territory they lost.
The recapture of Mosul will not however mark the end of the threat posed by ISIS, which controls territory elsewhere in Iraq and is able to carry out frequent bombings in government-held areas.