Abadi Declares 'End of War Against ISIS' in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. Reuters file photo
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. Reuters file photo
TT

Abadi Declares 'End of War Against ISIS' in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. Reuters file photo
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York. Reuters file photo

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday announced the end of a three-year war by Iraqi forces to drive ISIS extremist organization out of the country.

"Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against ISIS," Abadi told a conference organized by the Iraqi journalists' union in Baghdad.

"Our enemy wanted to kill our civilization, but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time," he said.

The terrorist group seized vast areas north and west of Baghdad in a lightning offensive in the summer of 2014, endangering the very existence of the Iraqi state.

Iraq's fightback was launched with the backing of an air campaign waged by the US-led coalition, recapturing town after town from the clutches of the militants.

"I announce the good news: the liberation by Iraqi forces of the whole of the Iraqi-Syrian border," the prime minister told the conference.

Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, a senior Iraqi military commander, also said Saturday that his country's war against ISIS is over.

He said combat operations against the extremists have concluded after Iraqi forces retook control of the country's border with Syria.

“All Iraqi lands are liberated from terrorist ISIS gangs and our forces completely control the international Iraqi-Syrian border," the statement said.



White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
TT

White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that mediators for Qatar and Egypt plan to engage Hamas militants soon to see if there is a way to push ahead with a Gaza ceasefire proposal offered by US President Joe Biden.

Sullivan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a Ukraine peace summit and was asked about diplomatic efforts to get an agreement for Hamas to release some hostages held since Oct. 7 in exchange for a ceasefire lasting at least six weeks.

Sullivan said he had spoken briefly to one of the main interlocutors, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and that they would speak again about Gaza on Sunday while both are in Switzerland for the Ukraine conference, Reuters reported.

Hamas has welcomed the ceasefire proposal, but insists any agreement must secure an end to the war, a demand Israel still rejects. Israel described Hamas's response to the new US peace proposal as total rejection.

Sullivan said that US officials have taken a close look at Hamas's response.

"We think some of the edits are not unexpected and can be managed. Some of them are inconsistent both with what President Biden laid out and what the UN Security Council endorsed. And we are having to deal with that reality," he said.

He said US officials believe there remains an avenue to an agreement and that the next step will be for Qatari and Egyptian mediators to talk to Hamas and "go through what can be worked with and what really can’t be worked with."

"We anticipate a back-and-forth between the mediators and Hamas. We’ll see where we stand at that point. We will keep consulting with the Israelis and then hopefully at some point next week we’ll be able to report to you where we think things stand and what we see as being the next step to try to bring this to closure," he said.