JNN 30 Dec 2015 BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday hailed the liberation of the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s western province of Anbar, from the Islamic State (IS) Terrorist group and pledged to liberate the northern city of Mosul.
In his address on the nation, Abadi congratulated the Iraqi people for the recapture of Ramadi, some 110 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and said that “every Iraqi city will come back to our homeland.”
“I confirm to you (Iraqis) and the whole world that if not we were acting carefully to protect the safety of the families besieged in Ramadi, we would have completed the liberation before this date a long time ago,” Abadi said in his speech broadcast by the state-run Iraqiya channel.
The IS terrorists “have booby-trapped schools, mosques, hospitals, streets and everything to impede the arrival of the brave (soldiers), still it (IS) failed and defeated after the killing of hundreds of its criminals and terrorists,” Abadi said.
Abadi also said “if 2015 was the year of liberation, by God willing 2015 would be the year of the final victory, and the year of ending the presence of Daaesh (IS in Arabic) on the land of Iraq.”
He said that the IS group has shed blood, beheaded and displaced people, “it (IS) is enemy of all humanity, and the world must unite and not tolerate one moment with extremist Wahabi Ideology because it is the basis of terrorism.”
Earlier in the day, an Iraqi military statement declared key victory on the IS group in Ramadi.
The troops “have retook control of Ramadi after liberating its district one by one, and raised the Iraqi flag on the government complex,” the military statement said.
A provincial security source told Xinhua that after capturing the government complex, the troops continued their fighting against IS terrorists in some pockets inside the city, while explosive experts are defusing a large number of landmines and booby-trapped vehicles and buildings.
Last Tuesday, Iraq’s Joint Operations Command announced that the security forces launched a major offensive in Ramadi and managed to seize the districts of al-Bakr, Dhubbat and Aramel, in southwestern part of the city after fierce clashes with IS affiliates.
On Saturday, Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi said “Iraqi forces are close to free Ramadi” and pledged that “during the next days, Iraqi forces will free the IS-held territories in the provinces of Anbar, as well as Salahudin and Nineveh.”
The security forces have recently made significant advance in Ta’mim district in southern Ramadi and several areas on the edges of the city, as part of their efforts to wipe out IS elements from Ramadi.
The troops have been fighting for months to retake key cities and towns in Anbar, Iraq’s largest province, from IS terrorists who have seized most of Anbar and tried to advance towards Baghdad.