Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi arrived in Fallujah on Thursday to mark the third anniversary of defeating ISIS in Iraq.
During his visit, he addressed military and security commanders and the Iraqi army, hailing the country’s victory over ISIS and stressing that it was achieved by “the sacrifice of Iraqi blood” and the help of “friends” around the world.
Kadhimi also greeted all the country’s armed forces on the occasion, saying that ISIS tried to take over Fallujah, Khalidiya and Anbar, but Iraq cannot be divided.
“ISIS tried to offend the dignity of Iraqis, and found heroes who taught humanity the meaning of national dignity.”
For his part, President Barham Salih stressed the importance of preserving the victories achieved and keeping up with the war on terrorism.
“The sacrifice and the blood spilled on the path toward the liberation of our cities requires us to be ever vigilant. We must never waste that victory,” he said.
“This means continuing the fight against terrorism and working to prevent any instability or insecurity in the country that could provide an opportunity to extremists.”
In a statement obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, Salih highlighted the need to combat corruption, bolster the state’s authority, consolidate its sovereignty in enforcing law, protect citizens’ security and stability and initiate structural reform and ensure free and fair elections.
The president further pointed to the importance of returning the displaced people to their cities and towns and addressing the impact of terrorist groups.
Salih also underlined the need to reduce the impacts of regional tensions, which are mostly taken advantage of by terrorists to implement their agendas.
Iraq maintains its position to distance itself from regional conflicts, Salih noted, stating that it is a fundamental basis for regional and international cooperation to establish peace and limit conflicts that undermine regional stability.
Meanwhile, Nineveh MP Ahmed al-Jubouri told Asharq Al-Awsat that more than three years after the end of military operations to liberate Nineveh, thousands of corpses are still in mass graves and under the rubble.
Families of the martyrs who worked in security services and were slaughtered by ISIS still don’t receive salaries and have no rights, as well as millions of displaced people, he noted.