In national holiday, Iraq marks one year since defeat of Daesh
Iraq is marking one year since it declared victory against the terrorist group of Daesh, which had taken over nearly one-third of the country's territory.
Monday has officially been declared a holiday in Iraq, with the government urging Iraqis to celebrate.
Iraqi officials marked the one-year anniversary but also stressed the need to address other concerns that continue to plague Iraq, including terrorist attacks by Daesh cells, as well as alleged government corruption.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said Iraq had achieved "the biggest victory against the forces of evil and terrorism" when it defeated Daesh. "The final victory we hope for is achieving our people's ambitions and hopes... If we do not eliminate corruption, our victory will be lacking."
The Iraqi president made similar remarks.
"Iraqis today are celebrating the anniversary of victory over the ugliest criminal assault that history has seen," President Barham Saleh said in a statement on Twitter. "Our heroes achieved military victory at a high price, giving us the duty to achieve the final victory with a political, social, and cultural win."
On Sunday, December 9, 2017, then-prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over Daesh, which had taken over swathes of land following swift attacks starting in 2014.