Iraq's armed forces held a military parade in Baghdad on Sunday to celebrate the victory announced by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi over the Daesh terrorist group. His announcement comes two days after the Russian military announced the defeat of the militants in neighboring Syria.
Abadi on Saturday declared victory in Iraq's three-year war to expel the terrorist group that at its height endangered the country's very existence.
Iraqi army units marched through the main square in central Baghdad as helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead, witnesses said. The parade was not broadcast live and only state media were allowed to attend.
Abadi had declared Sunday a public holiday after making his announcement, in which he said Iraq had defeated the militants "through our unity and our determination."
Daesh seized control of large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014, declaring a cross-border "caliphate" and committing widespread atrocities. Backed by a U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi forces gradually retook control of all territory lost to the militants over the last three years. Experts warn that Daesh remains a threat, with the capacity as an insurgent group to carry out high-casualty bomb attacks using sleeper cells.
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