Iraqi forces recapture last IS-held town
 
, Posted on 18-Nov-2017


Iraqi forces recapture last IS-held town

BaghdadIraqi forces yesterday captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under Islamic State control, signalling the collapse of the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate.

Rawa’s capture marks the end of Islamic State’s era of territorial rule over a so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across vast swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi forces “liberated Rawa entirely, and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings,” Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah said in a statement from the Joint Operations Command.

Syria’s army has also declared victory against Islamic State, but last week militants re-infiltrated Albu Kamal, near the border from Iraq, and are still fighting there, as well as in some villages and desert areas nearby. All the forces fighting Islamic State in both countries expect a new phase of guerrilla warfare, a tactic the militants have already shown themselves capable of.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated Iraq’s armed forces and people, saying Rawa was retaken in record time.

“Liberation of Rawa district in mere hours reflects the great strength and power of our heroic armed forces and the successful planning for battles,” he said in a statement.

A video issued by the military showed Iraqi forces sending a message to Rawa’s residents via radio which said: “Daesh has ended for good, and now the age of Iraq begins,” referring to the Sunni militant group by an Arabic acronym.

Another showed a convoy of military vehicles sporting Iraqi flags and blasting out the national anthem. State television played patriotic songs and aired footage of troops in Rawa.

“With the liberation of Rawa we can say all the areas in which Daesh is present have been liberated,” a military spokesman said.

Iraqi forces will now focus on routing the militants who fled into the desert and exert control over Iraq’s borders, the spokesman said.

Rawa borders Syria, whose army seized the last substantial town on the border with Iraq, Albu Kamal. Albu Kamal shares a border crossing with al-Qaim in Iraq. The militants lost control of the border crossing earlier this month, dealing a critical blow to the organisation, which had long relied on the route to move its fighters and equipment.

The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be hiding in the stretch of desert which runs along the border of both countries. 

Reuters


Related News

Saudi king approves $19bn stimulus
Dec 15

Saudi king approves $19bn stimulus

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia’s King Salman approved 72billion riyals ($19.2bn) worth of measures to stimulate growth in the private sector. The measures include residential housing loans worth 21.3bn riyals, a 10bn riyal fund to support economic projects, and 1.5bn riyals to support distressed companies, the...

Read More
Tillerson offers North Korea talks
Dec 14

Tillerson offers North Korea talks

Washington : Washington’s top diplomat Tuesday expressed willingness to talk with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) without precondition, indicating a softening of the hawkish U.S. stance though the White House publicly remained unrelenting. “We’re ready to have the first...

Read More
Saudi King Salman criticises  Trump’s Jerusalem decision
Dec 14

Saudi King Salman criticises Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Riyadh : Palestinians have the right to Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, Saudi King and Custodian of  the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said yesterday, echoing calls at the Islamic summit in Istanbul. “The kingdom has called for a political solution to resolve...

Read More
Jerusalem ‘should be Palestinian capital’
Dec 14

Jerusalem ‘should be Palestinian capital’

Istanbul : Leaders from the world’s main Pan-Islamic body yesterday urged the international community to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital after US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. The emergency summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)...

Read More
Saudi Arabia lifts cinema ban
Dec 12

Saudi Arabia lifts cinema ban

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year-old ban on cinemas yesterday, prompting celebrations from film fans, directors and movie chains eyeing the last untapped mass market in the Middle East. The first theatres could start showing films as early as March, the government said, part of a liberalising reform drive...

Read More
Kuwait forms  new Cabinet
Dec 12

Kuwait forms new Cabinet

Kuwait City : Kuwait formed a new cabinet yesterday, led by Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah met Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at Sief Palace yesterday, and the Prime Minister presented a list of new ministers. The Amir then...

Read More
Blast in Times Square
Dec 12

Blast in Times Square

New York : A 27-year-old Bangladeshi national has been taken into custody with serious injuries after a suspected pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station Monday morning.   Commuters said they felt a blast in the Subway tunnels...

Read More
China calls for caution on issues concerning status of Jerusalem
Dec 11

China calls for caution on issues concerning status of Jerusalem

Beijing : China said that the status of Jerusalem is sensitive and complicated, and urged all parties concerned to exercise caution for peace and tranquillity in the Middle East. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks when asked to comment on U.S. intention to recognize Jerusalem as...

Read More
Nuke war just a  ‘tantrum away’: Nobel winners
Dec 11

Nuke war just a ‘tantrum away’: Nobel winners

Oslo, Norway : The winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), yesterday warned mankind’s destruction is just one “impulsive tantrum away” as the United States and North Korea exchange warlike threats over the nation’s nuclear...

Read More
Arab states urge US to abandon Jerusalem move
Dec 11

Arab states urge US to abandon Jerusalem move

Cairo : Arab foreign ministers yesterday urged the United States to abandon its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the move would increase violence throughout the region. The announcement by President Donald Trump on Wednesday was a “dangerous violation of international...

Read More