Of course “victory” in this part of the world is often fleeting.
“Honourable Iraqis: your land has been completely liberated. The dream of liberation is now a reality,” Abadi said in a televised address. He was speaking with five Iraqi flags and dozens of servicemen from different branches behind him.
“We have accomplished a very difficult mission. Our heroes have reached the final strongholds of Daesh and purified it. The Iraqi flag flies high today over all Iraqi lands.”
Several squadrons of Iraqi helicopters flew over Baghdad carrying Iraqi flags at noon, in an apparent rehearsal for a victory parade that Iraq is planning to hold in the coming days.
The government said the declaration meant Iraqi forces had secured the western desert and the entire Iraq-Syria border, and marked the end of the war against Islamic State.