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Iraq’s military spokesman: ‘Daesh is no longer a threat’

Iraqi soldiers conduct a military operation against Daesh at the rural areas of Saladdin and Kirkuk, Iraq on 29 December, 2019 [Alı Makram Ghareeb/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi soldiers conduct a military operation against Daesh in Iraq on 29 December 2019 [Alı Makram Ghareeb/Anadolu Agency]

Since the start of 2020, the Iraqi authorities have recorded a series of movements attributed to Daesh militants in the Iraqi territory, which indicates that the terrorist organisation has managed to partially reorganise its ranks after suffering heavy defeats in recent years on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul, military spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, stressed that Daesh, which has already been vanquished, no longer poses a threat to Iraq.

On Wednesday, Rasoul disclosed in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that Daesh cells have “almost vanished” and “can no longer threaten our cities and fellow citizens.”

He described the security raids carried out by the Iraqi forces in the past weeks on the hideouts of Daesh fighters in different regions of the country as “pre-emptive”, noting that the operations are based on intelligence information.

READ: UK to charge ex-Daesh fighters for ‘conflict selfies’ with dead bodies 

The spokesman stressed that Daesh does not control any areas in Iraq, adding: “There is no place for Daesh on Iraqi lands. The gangs of this terrorist organisation do not control any Iraqi lands, and our forces are constantly conducting pre-emptive operations against terrorist dens in mountain ranges and deserts to prevent terrorists from reaching populated areas or reorganising an armed force even though minor.”

On Daesh’s recent video releases depicting the activities of its members, Rasoul confirmed that the organisation is trying to mark its presence in the media by publishing videos, most of which are old, and the Iraqi armed forces continue their intelligence efforts to eliminate the remnants of terrorism.

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