Iraqi PM raises flag at IS-free crossing with Syria
06 Nov 2017 - 10:01
BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday raised the Iraqi flag over the newly-liberated city of Al-Qaim and Husaybah border crossing with Syria.
According to a statement issued by al-Abadi’s office, the prime minister visited the area and flied the national flags during a ceremony.
Al-Abadi praised Iraqi government forces' role in the retake of Al-Qaim from IS terrorist group, attributing their success to “their dedication”.
Hashd al-Shaabi and the forces of Iraqi central government conducted a joint military plan to take control of Syrian border in Anbar, Kazim Abd al-Waheed, a commander of the pro-government Hashd al-Shaabi militia, told Anadolu Agency.
Located two kilometers from Al-Qaim city and 410 kilometers west of provincial capital Ramadi, the Husaybah crossing links the Iraqi city of Al-Qaim to the town of Abu Kamal in Syria’s Deir ez-Zour province.
On Friday, Iraqi forces moved into and captured Al-Qaim near the Syrian border with a view to driving IS terrorists from their last remaining stronghold in Iraq’s western Anbar province.
“Army troops backed by Hashd al-Shaabi fighters and Arab tribal volunteers have completely liberated Al-Qaim’s city center,” Army Colonel Walid al-Duleimi told Anadolu Agency.
“The Iraqi national flag has been raised over the city’s local government headquarters,” he added.
Last month, Al-Qaim became the last IS-held Iraq-Syria border crossing after Iraqi forces retook the Al-Walid and Rabia crossings, respectively located in Anbar and the Nineveh province.
Last month, the Iraqi army began a wide-ranging campaign aimed at capturing the cities of Rawa and Al-Qaim, IS's last remaining redoubts in Anbar province.
The notorious terrorist group has recently suffered a string of crushing defeats in both Iraq and Syria after overrunning vast swathes of territory in both countries in 2014.