At the time Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was more cautious in announcing the terrorist organizations' defeat as he would only declare final victory after ISIS militants were routed in the desert.
Abadi said on Tuesday during his weekly news conference ISIS had been defeated from a military perspective, but he wouldn't declare final victory just yet, adding: “from a military perspective, we have ended the presence of ISIS in Iraq."
On Friday, Iraqi forces captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under ISIS control, indicating the end of the group’s alleged 'caliphate' announced in 2014.
According to military commanders, the only thing left of the operation against ISIS is to secure desert and border areas.
“God willing we will announce very soon after the end of the purification operations victory over ISIS in Iraq," confirmed Abadi.
The PM also stated that political disagreements will pave the way for the terrorist group to carry out new attacks, in reference to the central government’s dispute with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) following the declaration of independence after the referendum Erbil had done on September 25.
Abadi praised a federal court verdict that ruled the Kurdish referendum was unconstitutional and called on Kurds to refrain from resorting to violence.
“Any disagreement between political factions will encourage ISIS to carry out terrorist attacks,” he said, adding: "I call on our Kurdish brothers to avoid fighting.”
Hours before Abadi spoke, Iraqi police announced that at least 23 people were killed and 60 wounded when a suicide bomber set off a truck bomb near a crowded marketplace in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, south of Kirkuk.
An Iraqi colonel told Agence France Presse (AFP) a “violent explosion” took place near a vegetable market in the town when a Kia car exploded.
Tuz Khurmato Mayor Adel Shakur al-Bayati also told AFP that 24 people were killed and 85 others injured.
Most of the casualties were civilians, the colonel, who spoke on condition of anonymity, informed AFP.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, however, such attacks are usually claimed by ISIS.
Turkmen MP Niazi Maamar Oglu said that for years, the town has not seen such an attack as of Tuesday's.
Security chief of Salaheddin provincial coundil, Mehdi Taqi, reported that a curfew was imposed immediately until further notice.
"There are still some areas west of Tuz Khurmatu that serve as hideouts for ISIS and we will soon be carrying out operations to clean them up," Taqi added.