09 Dec 17. Iraq is ‘fully liberated’ from ISIS, its military says. The entire length of the Iraqi-Syrian border is also secure, Iraq’s Prime Minister tweeted. The Iraqi military has “fully liberated” all of Iraq’s territory of “ISIS terrorist gangs” and retaken full control of the Iraqi-Syrian border, it said Saturday in a statement.
“Our heroic armed forces have now secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on his Twitter account. “We defeated Daesh (ISIS) through our unity and sacrifice for the nation. Long live Iraq and its people.”
ISIS, an acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, rapidly captured large territories in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in 2014. The group controlled more than 34,000 square miles of territory from the Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad.
The campaign to eradicate the Islamic State took more than three years and about 25,000 coalition airstrikes. Iraqi forces have increasingly been pushing ISIS out of the country over the past few months. Iraqi forces last month retook the town of Rawa, one of ISIS’s last footholds in the country. At that point, only pockets of ISIS resistance remained.
ISIS’ ascendency and the world’s military response has created a devastating crisis for civilians and led to the displacement of more than 3.2 million people, according to the United Nations.
The US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS tweeted his support for Abadi’s declaration and said the coalition would remain to assist the Iraqis.
“We congratulate the Prime Minister and all the Iraqi people on this significant achievement, which many thought impossible,” Brett McGurk wrote.
The Coalition congratulate the people of Iraq on their significant victory against #Daesh. We stand by them as they set the conditions for a secure and prosperous #futureiraq pic.twitter.com/pJlGImT1Yu
— The Global Coalition (@coalition) December 9, 2017
“We honor the sacrifices of the Iraqi people, its security forces, and the Kurdish Peshmerga, and admire the unity in their ranks that had made this day possible,” McGurk added. “That spirit must be renewed and continue as Iraq works to consolidate these historic gains over the coming year.
“Our @coalition will continue to stand with #Iraq to support its security forces, economy, and stabilization to help ensure that #ISIS can never again threaten Iraq’s people or use its territory as a haven,” he wrote.” We mark today’s historic victory mindful of the work that remains.”
08 Dec 17. Boeing gives up on sale of fighter jets to Canada. Deal by US aircraft maker succumbs to trade battle with Bombardier. Boeing has given up on plans to sell 18 Super Hornet fighter jets to the Canadian government, the most recent casualty in a trade battle between the US aircraft maker and Canadian plane maker Bombardier that has exacerbated tensions between Washington and Ottawa. Canada repeatedly threatened to cancel the purchase of the jets from Boeing, after the Chicago-based aircraft maker filed a trade complaint with the US Commerce department which led to the preliminary imposition of stiff import tariffs on Canadian plane maker Bombardier’s C Series aircraft. Canadian press reports earlier this week said that Ottawa has decided to make good on that threat and an announcement to that effect is expected next week. Boeing apparently wanted to get ahead of that announcement by putting out its own statement on Friday, according to sources close to the company. “We have read reports that the Government of Canada is choosing to purchase used F/A-18 Classic Hornets from the Royal Australian Air Force in lieu of new Super Hornet fighter jets. The Boeing Company respects the Canadian government’s decision,” Boeing said in a statement posted on its website. The company added that “although we will not have the opportunity to grow our supply base, industrial partnerships and jobs in Canad