21:15 GMT17 January 2021
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    Iraqi troops have made significant progress on the ground in some strategic areas, most notably near the Sinjar district in northern Iraq, the city of Ramadi to the east of Baghdad, and the Baiji oil refinery, according to Australia's chief of joint operations, Vice Adm. David Johnston.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — It is just a matter of time before the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh in Arabic) terrorist group is defeated by the Iraqi army, Australia's chief of joint operations, Vice Adm. David Johnston, said Friday.

    "The momentum in the fight has shifted significantly and whilst I wouldn’t put a timeline on it, I think it is only a matter of time now until the Iraqi army does actually succeed and defeats Daesh in Iraq," Johnston said at a news briefing after returning from Iraq, as quoted by The Guardian.

    According to Johnston, Iraqi troops have made significant progress on the ground in some strategic areas, most notably near the Sinjar district in northern Iraq, the city of Ramadi to the east of Baghdad, and the Baiji oil refinery.

    About 20,000 Daesh militants were killed in Syria and Iraq in 2015 by US-led coalition forces, according to Johnson.

    Daesh, outlawed in Russia and many other countries, is a violent extremist group, that has seized large areas in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate on territories under its control.

    A US-led international coalition of around 60 nations, including Australia, has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh targets in Iraq and Syria since August 2014.

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    Tags:
    war on terror, Daesh, Iraqi armed forces, David Johnston, Australia, Iraq
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