MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Iraqi government forces have regained control over 90 percent of the land that had been occupied by the internationally-condemned terrorist group Daesh (ISIS), Saad Hadithi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi's office, said Monday.
"The situation has changed significantly. From the defense of Baghdad and the southern provinces we have switched to advancing and have begun to liberate the cities and regions one by one, despite our limited defense capabilities in comparison to the period before the government formation. These are Iraqi soldiers from various units. They are ready to put a decisive end to terrorism, having regained 90 percent of territories which had been under the terrorists' control. The final victory is at hand," Hadithi said as quoted by the Prime Minister's press service in the statement.
According to government data, over 2.2 million refugees have returned to the Iraqi regions which have been liberated from the terrorists.
In 2014, Daesh seized large territories in northern and western parts of Iraq, which provoked a new wave of violence and instability in the country. Iraqi government troops have managed to recapture most of that territory, including the cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. In recent days, the army has been conducting massive airstrikes on terrorist positions in the city of Hawijah in the Kirkuk province, which is defended by up to 2,000 Daesh terrorists, according to the Iraqi military.