President Donald Trump hailed Iraq’s “victory” over the Islamic State group in Mosul today, claiming the northern city’s liberation showed the war against the jihadis was being won. “The victory in Mosul” signals Islamic State’s “days in Iraq and Syria are numbered,” Trump said in a statement praising Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. “Today Iraqi security forces supported by the United States and the global coalition, liberated the city of Mosul from its longtime nightmare under the rule of ISIS,” Trump said. “We congratulate Prime Minister Abadi, the Iraqi security forces and all the Iraqis for their victory over terrorists who are the enemies of all civilized people.” Trump claimed there had been “tremendous progress” made against in the Islamic State group: “More in the past six months than in the years since ISIS became a major threat,” he said. “The victory in Mosul, a city where ISIS once proclaimed its so-called caliphate signals that its days in Iraq and Syria are numbered. We will continue to seek the total destruction of ISIS.”
Trump made the battle against the Islamic State group a central plank of his presidential election campaign and the justification for restrictions on travelers from Muslim countries. His statement was echoed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who vowed to work with partners and the UN to stabilize liberated areas of Mosul and return displaced citizens.