Iraq Holds Military Parade Celebrating Victory Over ISIS

December 10, 2017 Updated: December 10, 2017    

BAGHDAD—An Iraqi military parade celebrating final victory over the terrorist group ISIS is underway in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, an Iraqi military spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over ISIS on Saturday after Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

Iraqi helicopters fly during an Iraqi military parade in Baghdad, Iraq December 10, 2017. (Reuters/Khalid al-Mousily)

Iraqi forces recaptured the last areas still under ISIS control along the border with Syria and secured the western desert, Abadi said, thus marking the end of the war against the terrorists.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi greets people during an Iraqi military parade in Baghdad, Iraq, December 10, 2017. (Iraqi Prime Minister Media Office/Handout via Reuters)

His announcement comes two days after the Russian military announced the defeat of the terrorists in neighboring Syria, where Moscow is backing Syrian government forces.

Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday.

Military planes fly during an Iraqi military parade in Baghdad, Iraq December 10, 2017. (Reuters/Khalid al-Mousily)

The parade was not being broadcast live and only state media was allowed to attend, but several squadrons of Iraqi helicopters flew over Baghdad on Saturday carrying Iraqi flags in an rehearsal for the victory parade.

Fighter jets were seen and heard flying over Baghdad’s skies on Sunday.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein

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