‘Iraq Finally Liberated from Islamic State’

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Iraqi forces gather at the Qayyarah military base, about 35 miles south of Mosul, on Sunday, as they prepare for an offensive to retake Mosul.

Forces on Saturday declared the liberation of all Iraqi lands from Islamic State (IS) militants after seizing the whole border areas and desert in western Iraq, the Iraqi military said.

“The liberation of all Iraqi lands from the IS has been completed.

“Our heroic forces have tightened their grab on the Iraqi-Syrian border,” Lt.-Gen. Abdul Yarallah, commander of western Iraq operations, said in a brief statement.

Yarallah said that the army forces and the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi brigades, backed by Iraqi helicopter gunships, managed to take control of the whole desert areas between the provinces of Nineveh and Anbar.

“The troops took control of over 90 villages and cleared 16,000 sq km in the last operation during the past 24…

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