Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on November 21 that ISIS is ‘finished’ after being obliterated in Iraq and Syria, Reuters reported.
“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. “Of course the remnants will continue but the foundation and roots have been destroyed,” he added.
Major General Qassem Soleimani, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), also said Islamic State had been defeated, in a message sent the same day to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei which was published on the Guards’ news site, Sepah News.
In a congratulatory message to the leader, General Soleimani hailed the “great victory” over ISIS which was achieved thanks to the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei and the sacrifices of all resistance fighters across Iraq and Syria. Soleimani also acknowledged the multinational force Iran has helped organize in the fight against Islamic State and thanked the “thousands of martyrs and wounded Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Afghan and Pakistani defenders of the shrine”.
Iraqi forces captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town there under Islamic State control, on November 17, signaling the collapse of the so-called caliphate it proclaimed in 2014 across swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory, although last week militants re-infiltrated Abu Kamal, near the Iraqi border, and are still fighting there, as well as in some villages and desert areas nearby.
President Rouhani is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan in Russia on November 22 to discuss the Syrian conflict.