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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq PM: 2016 will be the year of victory over Daesh

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec 29, IRNA -- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in al-Ramadi, Iraq, on Tuesday that 2016 will be the year of victory over Daesh.

Iraqi prime minister visited the city of Ramadi on Tuesday, a day after claiming its capture from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant after a months-long siege by the armed group.

Haider al-Abadi arrived by helicopter with the province's top military commander at the Anbar University complex in the city's southern outskirts, military sources told the Reuters news agency, Aljazeera reporetd.

Iraqi forces on Monday raised the national flag above the main government complex in Ramadi after days of deadly fighting against ISIL. But there were still pockets of resistance in and around the city, the army said.

'The prime minister and the head of the armed forces Dr Haider al-Abadi visits the liberated city of Ramadi,' Abadi posted on his Twitter account.

Abadi congratulated the security forces who were still sweeping streets and buildings for roadside bombs, booby traps, and holed up fighters.

In a televised speech on Monday, Abadi heralded the military operation that freed the key city from ISIL's control after the group took it over in May.

'2016 will be the year of the big and final victory, when ISIL's presence in Iraq will be terminated,' Abadi said. 'We are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh.'

Mosul, northern Iraq's main city, is by far the largest population centre in the self-proclaimed caliphate ISIL rules in Iraq and Syria after going on the offensive in June 2014.

Baghdad has said for months that it would prove its forces' rebuilt capability by rolling back ISIL's shocking advances in Anbar, a mainly Sunni province stretching from Baghdad's outskirts to the Syrian border.

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