Image: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (not in picture) inspect Chinese honour guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 22,2015. REUTERS/Wang Zhao/Pool
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The coming year will see the total defeat of Islamic State in Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Monday in a speech broadcast on state TV, praising the capture of the western city of Ramadi. “2016 will be the year of the big and final victory, when Daesh’s presence in Iraq will be terminated,” he said, using a derogatory Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
“We are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh,” he added, referring to the largest city under Islamic State control in northern Iraq.
The army on Sunday announced it had seized the centre of Ramadi from Islamic State, scoring its first major victory against the militant group that swept through a third of Iraq in 2014.
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Stephen Kalin; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
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