Iraqi PM vows defeat of IS after Ramadi recapture


Source: BBC

Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi has said so-called Islamic State (IS) will be ousted from the country, after government forces recaptured Ramadi.

In a televised address, Mr Abadi vowed to retake Iraq’s second city of Mosul, saying it would be “the fatal and final blow” to IS.

The recapture of Ramadi was welcomed by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said IS had suffered a major defeat.

The jihadists seized Ramadi in May, in an embarrassing defeat for the army.

Iraqi government forces have been fighting to retake the city – about 90km (55 miles) west of the capital, Baghdad – for weeks.

TV pictures on Monday showed troops raising the Iraqi flag over the government complex in the city centre.

Army spokesman Brig Gen Yahya Rasul said forces had “liberated” Ramadi in an “epic” victory.

Iraqi officials gave no immediate death toll from the battle.

“2016 will be the year of the big and final victory, when Daesh’s presence in Iraq will be terminated,” Mr Abadi said on state television, using another name for Islamic State.

“We are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh,” he added.

‘Not the end of the crisis’: Press reaction

Middle East press reaction to the retaking of Ramadi ranges from hope that this development marks a turning point in the struggle against IS to reminders that the group has yet to be dislodged from other parts of the country.

Iraqi pro-Shia newspaper Al-Adalah: “The huge victories that were achieved by security forces indicate that the end of terrorism is imminent.”

Jordan’s pro-government daily Al-Rai: “The battle of Ramadi is not over. We still have to liberate Mosul.”

Saudi-owned London-based Al-Hayat: “Iraqi troops have entered Al-Ramadi and

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