Iraq News

All Iraqi cities will be liberated by end of 2017: defence minister

All Iraqi cities will be fully liberated from the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) by the end of this year, Iraq’s Defence Minister Irfan al-Hayali told Diyaruna on Thursday (September 21st).

"The Iraqis, with the help of their friends, have put an end to ISIS faster than expected," he said.

Al-Hayali said that 93% of the cities that were occupied by ISIS have been liberated.

"We are now about to announce the end of ISIS's control over Iraq by recapturing the four remaining cities -- al-Hawijah, Anah, Rawa and al-Qaim," he said.

This will take place before the end of the year, he added.

"The international coalition is providing support to Iraqi forces, and is playing a role in logistical support and training," he said.

"The number of ISIS terrorists has significantly dropped thanks to the liberation operations which have eliminated thousands of them in recent months," the defence minister said.

Regarding the liberation of Upper Euphrates cities and al-Hawijah, he said, "We shall bring you the good news of victory very soon."

"The enemy is broken, and our forces are making major advances on the battlefields."

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