Iraq celebrates “victory day” over ISIS

“They said that Iraq as we knew it was finished & broken beyond repair. They mocked us, rejoiced in our setback, & celebrated our ordeal. It is the end of 2018 & we are still here : Frustrated, worried, but dignified with our heads held high. To hell with ISIS!” writes one commentator in Iraq as the country celebrates a year since major combat operations against ISIS ended.

President Barham Salih wrote: “Today, Iraqis celebrate the anniversary of the triumph over the most heinous criminal aggression in history and the liberation of cities and villages occupied by terrorists ISIS militants. Our heroes have achieved military victory at great prices, which is why we must achieve the final victory, political, societal and cultural victory, ending the factors and environment of the emergence of violence, terrorism and crime.”

The government of Iraq wrote “As we mark the first anniversary of Iraq’s victory over Daesh, we salute and honour the Iraqi people, the families of our martyrs and our injured fighters whose heroism, sacrifices and patriotism made this remarkable victory possible.” And put up a video

Another person wrote “Happy anniversary to all my Iraqi brethren; and I salute all the heroes who gave their lives for Iraq, humanity and the world.” Others posted photos.

And one ambassador wrote “On the first anniversary of ’s victory over , my heartfelt congratulations to everyone who was involved in achieving this great victory. Without the lives of our patriotic martyrs we would have not been able to declare victory.”

ISOF forces driving into Bartella to liberate it from ISIS in October 2016 (Seth J. Frantzman)

Some praised the role of the Hashd al-Shaabi in the battles. “A year has passed on the great victory that has been achieved:-The fatwa of Imam al-Sistani (it was a preemptive plan militarily, and the miracle from the divine side)-the Unity of political leadership (Mr. and the National Military decision Unit).”

Others highlighted the role of the Golden Division or ISOF.

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