Iraqi Diplomat to ST: Mosul Liberation Broke ISIS Back, Proved Iraqi People' Unity

The Charge de' Affairs of the Iraqi Embassy in Damascus Riad Hassoun al-Tai has underscored that Mosul Liberation from ISIS [Daesh Organization] has broken the  back of the organization and has refuted allegations made by Iraq's enemies regarding sectarian divisions in the country.

In an interview with the Syriatimes e-newspaper's reporter, the Iraqi diplomat said that the importance of the liberation of  Mosul at military level  manifested in breaking the back of the terror organization [ISIS]  as the city [Mosul] was a key ISIS stronghold from where it announced the foundation of its alleged state [ Islamic State of Iraq and Syria].

"This terror organization called Mosul the 'land of empowerment', which means the land of power from which it derives its power for expansion. So, the liberation of this city broke the back of this organization and fragmented it," he added, indicating that Mosul's geolocation helped ISIS terrorists to move easily from Iraq to ISIS-held areas in Syria  and to convey their arms as well as to capture borders linking Mosul to Syria.

 Double blow

The military blow delivered to this terror organization coincided with a political blow delivered to Iraq's enemies that proved the unity of all the spectrums of the Iraqi society in fighting terrorism.

""Iraqi armed forces, Popular Mobilization Forces [al-Hashd al-Sha'abi], Tribal Mobilization forces and Peshmerga have fought together under the leadership of the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces against ISIS terrorists refuting all allegations made by Iraq's enemies regarding sectarian divisions in Iraq, " al-Tai asserted, referring to the positive reaction of Iraqi people to the Fatwa of religious scholars, including grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who urged all citizens who are able to bear arms to join security forces in fighting ISIS in order to defend their country and their people and their holy places.

He affirmed that Mosul liberation, which weakened ISIS, will be a main factor for unifying ranks against this terrorist organization in other areas in Syria.

The collapse of ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq will be similar to the fall down of dominoes.

ISIS terrorists' collapse

"The victories recently achieved by Syrian army in Badia are one of the results of defeating ISIS terrorists in Mosul." The diplomat said, stressing that Aleppo liberation was glad tidings and it was followed by liberating of Mosul."

ISIS terrorists still capture three main cities- Tal Afar in the Nineveh Province, Hwija in Kirkuk province and al-Qaim in Anbar province. While four provinces- Diyala, Saladin, Anbar and Mosul, were liberated from those terrorists, who perpetrated heinous crimes against Iraqi people and caused huge material damage to the infrastructures of the country.

"Iraq's Prime Minister has urged all ministers to visit the damaged areas in the country and to work on rehabilitating them in order to pave the way for the return of citizens to their homes," the diplomat said , adding that a conference will be held in Kuwait for rebuilding Mosul with the participation of 30 countries.

"Iraq expects good things to come from its friends because it has faced difficult circumstances over the past three years after the ISIS's capture of several areas in the country. Iraq has spent a lot of money in military field in order to fight ISIS terrorists," al-Tai underlined.

He made it clear that advisors from friendly forces helped the Iraqi armed forces to liberate areas from ISIS terrorists.

Iraqi-Syrian coordination in fighting terrorism

As for coordination between Syrian and Iraqi armies in fighting terrorism, the diplomat pointed out that there is a joint military coordination center in Baghdad, which is composed of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia, for exchanging information about fighting terrorism. 

"Coordination between Syria and Iraq in fighting terrorism is legal and legitimate and it is based on UN resolutions that provide for the necessity of coordination between countries in counter-terrorism," the diplomat said, describing the diplomatic relations between the two countries as good and deep-rooted.

"Iraq and Syria are friendly countries and their peoples face the same destiny and a common enemy, namely ISIS... The celebrations held by Iraqi citizens in Damascus and in Iraqi embassy and the congratulations offered by scores of Syrian officials, who came to the embassy's headquarters, reflect unity between Iraqi and Syrian peoples," he asserted.

Al-Tai concluded by saying that the two friendly countries will work together to foil conspiracies hatched against the unity of their peoples.

On July 10, Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared Mosul completely liberated from ISIS terrorists by the Iraqis.

The city was under the control of ISIS terrorists from June 2014 to July 2017, according to media reports, which confirm that 7000 ISIS affiliates remain in Iraq.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour