In the name of God, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
( ويَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ يَنصُرُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ )
“And on that Day, the believers will rejoice. With the help of Allah, He helps whom He wills, and He is the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.”
– Qur’an 30.4/30.5
My fellow Iraqis,
Your lands have been completely liberated, your occupied cities and towns are now safely back to the heart of our nation, and the dream of liberation is now a reality.
Together as a nation, by the grace of God, the valour of our heroic forces, and the steadfastness of our people, we have accomplished this demanding mission in the face of overwhelming challenges and difficulties. With the blood of our martyrs and wounded, our nation has achieved a resounding and historic victory that will be the pride of all Iraqis for generations to come.
Today, we announce to people of Iraq, and to the world, that our heroes have now cleared the last of Daesh’s strongholds, and have raised the Iraqi flag high in the western areas of Al Anbar, which was the last remaining occupied land. Today, our flag flies high over all of Iraq and in most remote border areas.
Over the course of three long years, your valiant forces liberated town after town, and city after city. Their determination and resolve was a menace to the enemy, and a joy to our friends, and has caused the world to stand in awe of their achievement. This is the true face of Iraqis, who succeeded in overcoming obstacles and challenges in the harshest and most severe circumstances.
My fellow Iraqis,
Today, you should rightfully be proud of your victory. A victory that was only achieved through your unity, determination and precious sacrifice. Guard this great victory jealously, maintain your unity and take care of your land, and with God’s blessings, begin a new future for a safe and secure Iraq.
On this historic occasion, I offer my most heartfelt and sincere congratulations to our dear people, and valiant fighters. It is a victory that we must celebrate today and commemorate in the years to come as a national holiday for all Iraqis.
This mission of liberation that was launched three years ago will remain a resounding Iraqi success story, and a shining beacon in the history of our nation and the sacred struggle of its people.
To the families of our blessed martyrs and the injured, I say the following: the blood of your children was not shed in vain, hold your heads up high, for it is your sons’ sacrifices which have allowed Iraq and all Iraqis to stand proud.
History will bear witness to the courageous landmark fatwa issued by his Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayid Ali Al-Sistani calling for jihad in defence of our land and all that is holy, a call that believers thronged to answer – young and old alike, and which resulted in the largest volunteer campaign that supported our armed forces and turned the war against terrorism into an unprecedented national imperative, that brought together the Popular Mobilization Forces and many other volunteer units.
My fellow Iraqis,
Our victory is made all the more complete with the preservation of Iraq’s unity after coming to the edge of the precipice of the division of our country. It is the unity of Iraq and its people which constitutes the greatest achievement, praise be to God. We will continue with the same resolve and determination in the service of all of our people without distinction, while preserving and developing our national wealth, achieving equality, social justice and the rule of law under the tenets of our constitution, while respecting freedoms, beliefs and the diversity of faith and ethnicities our nation has been blessed with.
Today, we are in the post-victory phase, the phase that Daesh and other terrorist and corrupt elements were dreading, while our nation sees it as a new dawn rising over the unified land of Iraq, safe and secure from any harm.
Unity was the weapon by which our victory was achieved, and which we must maintain and fortify with all our might. Today, Iraq and its wealth belongs to all Iraqis – North, South, East and West, everyone must enjoy the fruits of this victory through stability, security, development and prosperity.
Our next goal does not stop at rebuilding our liberated cities and towns, but extends throughout the whole of the country from which our valiant sons came forth in defence of the nation.
I call on all politicians and civil servants to take their responsibilities seriously, and work towards maintaining peace and stability and ensuring that terrorism never returns. I beseech them all to refrain from the sectarian and seditious language that was the primary cause of many humanitarian catastrophes by enabling Daesh’s gangs to occupy and destroy our cities, displace millions of Iraqis from their homes, and cause untold suffering, sacrifice and loss of national wealth and resources.
Ensuring that all arms remain within the state’s legal control will be the best means of strengthening and developing our statehood, and achieving social justice, equality and stability in Iraq.
The fight against corruption is a natural extension of the liberation of our land and people. The corrupt have no place in Iraq, just as Daesh have no place here. This is another battle that everyone – each within their own field- must actively take part in and be a part of, for it is not the sole responsibility of one person or entity but a shared and communal duty.
Your country is today rising up to its rightful and natural position in the region, and we have turned a new leaf in our relations with all Arab and neighbouring countries, as well as the nations of the rest of the world. These relations are built on respecting national sovereignty, and the exchange of mutual interests away from interference in each other’s internal affairs.
I salute all the victorious: our valiant security, police and armed forces, the Popular Mobilization Forces, our counter-terrorism service, our air force and army aviation, the Peshmerga, and all the different formations of our armed forces including engineering, medical and logistics units, as well as all those citizens and tribal leaderships who offered support and cooperation.
I also salute everyone in ministries and government institutions who worked very hard to support and contribute to repair infrastructure and basic services. I wish to extend all praise and pay tribute to everyone who sacrificed, or offered moral and vocal support – journalists and members of the media, artists and intellectuals and all the free voices which stood by our people and our armed forces during this mission of liberation.
Daesh’s dream is finished, we must wipe out any of its remaining relics and never allow terrorism to return. With the blood of our young people, and the loss of the safety and security of their communities, the suffering of millions of our families as a result of displacement, our people have paid a huge price. This page must be turned, and never repeated.
Despite the announcement of the final victory, we must remain vigilant, ready to thwart any attempt to terrorise our land and people. Terrorism is a constant threat and our battle against it continues. The secret to our great victory was our unity and concord – we must guard it jealously.
I would also like to thank all nations, NGOs and humanitarian organisations that stood with Iraq during this campaign.
I salute every single Iraqi fighter who took up arms in defence of their land. I salute the souls of our departed martyrs and all the injured, and their gracious families, whose sacrifices meant the unity of Iraq and its people.
Long live Iraq in its victory. May it always be safe and prosperous for all its children.
Praise be to God.
Dr. Haider Al-Abadi
9 December 2017