Iraq PM sets ambitious target to defeat Islamic State in 2016


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Setting an ambitious target for 2016, Iraq has vowed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in 2016. Iraq and Syria have been fighting a gruelling battle against the world’s most dreaded terrorist group which has taken administrative control over many places in both countries.

The deadline to terminate the IS was set by Iraq’s Prime Minister  Haider al-Abadi, in the backdrop of Iraqi forces declaring that they had recaptured the city of Ramadi, a provincial capital located west of Baghdad. Ramadi had fallen to the IS in May 2015.  “2016 will be the year of the big and final victory, when Daesh’s presence in Iraq will be terminated,” Mr Abadi said in a speech broadcast on state television, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State that the hardline group rejects. “We are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh,” he added. 

The recapture of Ramadi comes as a major morale booster for the Iraqi forces which were trained by the US. The troops had earlier looked helpless in combating the terror outfit when the latter went on a rampage in many parts of Iraq. In a congratulatory message to Iraq, the US lauded Iraq’s efforts. “The continued progress of the Iraqi Security Forces in the fight to retake Ramadi is a testament to their courage and determination, and our shared commitment to push ISIL out of its safe-haven,” said a statement from the White House.