The Iraqi government claimed victory over ISIS over the weekend. US officials said they will continue to work with Iraq to ensure the "enduring defeat" of the terrorist organization. US Army photo by Sgt. Tracy McKithern.
The Iraqi government held a military parade in Baghdad on Sunday—one day after declaring victory over ISIS—as the fight against the group in that country and Syria has entered a new phase.
Iraqi military, including formations of troops, aircraft, and equipment, paraded through the Green Zone in a public display of ISIS’s loss inside the country. The US-led coalition congratulated Iraq on Sunday, but said “much work remains.”
“We will continue to work by, with, and through our Iraqi partners to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh and prevent its ability to threaten civilization, regionally and globally,” coalition commander US Army Lt. Gen. Paul Funk said in a statement.
US officials have said ISIS has lost 98 percent of the land it once held in Iraq and in neighboring Syria. The US plans to keep a “conditions-based” deployment of forces there in the future to train Syrian Democratic Forces.
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Syria where he also declared victory against “terrorists.” In his first trip to Syria, Putin announced he was pulling out some of the Russian troops, according to The Associated Press. The Russian military will, however, keep its aircraft at Hemeimeem air base and maintain a naval facility in Tartus.
In a sign of the decrease in operations against ISIS, the US-led coalition is now releasing details on its operations twice per week, as opposed to the daily rate it maintained since the campaign began in 2014.
The most recent release detailed 14 strikes from Dec. 8-10 inside Syria and Iraq. The majority of the strikes stook place in Syria, and targets included ISIS tactical units, vehicles, mortar teams, and trucks.