BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:50 A.M.) – Residents of Mosul, alongside members of the military, celebrated the first anniversary of former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s announcement that Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) had been defeated in the country on Monday.
Military vehicles, some of them decorated with balloons, drove through the streets of Iraq’s second largest city, which had been controlled by IS from June 2014 until government forces recaptured it in July 2017.
“Now IS groups are gone, and if they come back, we will fight them and we won’t let them seize our country once again. We are here and we can resist them,” said one of the locals.
He also urged the Iraqi government to reconstruct the city destroyed during the occupation and provide aid to its residents.
“For example, we want them to restore the infrastructure in Mosul and to give us compensation for destroyed houses, because we still live in tents,” he said.
Iraq’s government spent more than three years battling to regain control over nearly a third of the country that had been under the IS control.
Video credit: Ruptly