Los Angeles Times

Declaring 'liberation is now a reality,' Iraq's prime minister claims victory in war against Islamic State

BEIRUT - Iraq's prime minister declared victory Saturday over Islamic State, the extremist group that imposed its brutal reign on millions, saying government forces have driven the militants from their last footholds inside the country after three years of grueling combat.

In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraqi troops were now in full control of the western desert regions along the border with Syria, where the militants made their final stand.

"The dream of liberation is now a reality," al-Abadi said, as senior members of the country's armed forces stood at attention behind him. "The Iraqi flag is flying high today over

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