Iran President Declares End of Daesh

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Tehran—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Tuesday declared the end of so called Islamic State (Daesh) in Iraq and Syria in an address broadcast live on state TV.

A top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Qassem Soleimani, also declared the end of Daesh in a message sent to the country’s supreme leader.

“Today with God’s guidance and the resistance of people in the region we can say that this evil has either been lifted from the head of the people or has been reduced,” Rouhani said in an address broadcast live on state TV.

He added: ‘Of course the remnants will continue but the foundation and roots have been destroyed.’ 

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The extremist groups, Rouhani added, “have brought nothing but misery, destruction, massacre and barbarism” to the region.

“We never imagined that the criminals, supported by the West, Americans and the evil Zionist regime, would commit such crimes in the 21st century,” said the Iranian president.

The Iran chief executive lashed out at “global powers and certain reactionary states in the region” for funding and arming the terrorist group.

On Sunday, the Arab League foreign ministers held an extraordinary general meeting in the Egyptian capital at the request of Saudi Arabia. 

At the end of the meeting, the league criticized Iran and Hezbollah calling for a united front to counter growing Iranian influence.

The Iranian president called the pan-Arab bloc “old, worn-out, exhausted and ineffective.” 

Accusing Arab block of being hand in glove with the US and its ally Israel for creating Daesh, Rouhani questioned Arab states for their silece against crimes terrorists commited in Iraq and Syria.

He lashed out at Arab leaders for maintaining silence over humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

Major General Qassem Soleimani, also declared the end of the Daesh group operating in Syria and Iraq in a message published on Tuesday on Sepah News, the Guards’ news site. 

Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force, the branch of the Guards responsible for operations outside Iran, has often been seen at frontline positions in battles in Iraq and Syria.

The Syrian conflict which entered a new phase with the capture at the weekend by government forces and their allies of the last significant town in Syria held by rebels, where Soleimani was pictured by Iranian media.

Soleimani acknowledged the multinational force Iran has helped organise in the fight against terrorism and thanked the “thousands of martyrs and wounded Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Afghan and Pakistani defenders of the shrine”.

On websites linked to the Guards, members of the organization killed in Syria and Iraq are praised as protectors of holy shrines of Prophet Muhammad’s family and labelled “defenders of the shrine”.

Scores of revered shrines of Shia Imams and companions of Prophet were attacked and destroyed by ISIS gangs during their march into Iraq and Syria over past several years.

Iran helped shore up embattled Syrian army since 2014 against foreign backed opposition and extremists. At least 1,000 military persinnel, are thought to have died in the fighting. 

Across the border in Iraq, Iranian-backed popular mobilisation forces, also known as Hashd-al Sha’abi drove ISIS out of its de facto Iraqi capital of Mosul in June and has almost succeeded in eliminating Isis as a land-holding force in the country. 

On Friday, Iraqi armed forces liberated Rawa near the border with Syria, which was the last remaining town under Daesh’s control, and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings.

Two days later, Syrian army soldiers, backed by pro-government fighters from popular defense groups, fully liberated Bukamal, Daesh’s last stronghold in Syria, which is a strategic city in the country’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr on the border with Iraq.

General Soleimani traveled to Syria to personally oversee the final stages of the Bukamal liberation operation.

The recapture of the two cities marked an end to Daesh’s reign, which started in 2014 with the group making vast territorial gains in a lightning offensive and establishing its self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Raqqah. 

Meanwhile, Rouhani will meet with the presidents of Russia and Turkey on Wednesday for the first in a series of summits aimed at re-booting the peace process in Syria in Russia’s Black Sea port city of Sochi.

The Sochi summit will help to ‘relaunch direct negotiations between the Syrian government and the range of the opposition’, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

‘As a victory over Deash in Syria…grows closer, there are conditions for the relaunch of political negotiations,’ he said Friday.  

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