BAGHDAD, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) — Iraqi President Barham Salih on Thursday said that preserving the victory over terrorist groups, which was achieved three years ago, entails the continuation of the war on terror.

Salih made his comment on the occasion of declaring victory over the militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in December 2017, the Presidency’s media office said in a statement.

“The victories must be preserved and terrorist groups must be prevented from destabilizing some regions and cities by continuing the war on terror,” the statement quoted Salih as saying.

The war against terror also entails “taking brave and decisive steps in combating corruption, strengthening state authority, protecting the security and stability of citizens, in addition to achieving reform and returning the displaced to their homes,” the statement said.

Salih also said that the terrorist groups are taking advantage of regional instability, which requires strenuous work to ease tensions in the region, the statement added.

“We affirm Iraq’s position to distance itself from regional conflicts, and reject their repercussions on its internal security and stability,” Salih confirmed.

In June 2014, the extremist IS group took control of large swathes of territories in western and northern Iraq.

However, Iraqi forces backed by an international coalition led by the United States managed to dislodge IS militants from their strongholds across the country. Enditem

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