The Senior US Commander in Iraq has warned that the war against the so-called Islamic State (IS) is not over, despite a “historic” victory in Mosul.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend warns that there were still IS fighters in Iraq and asked the government to reach out to Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority to stop IS from renewing itself.
Commanders from the US-led coalition that has provided air and ground support to Iraqi forces said the urban combat had been most intense since World War Two.
“If we’re to keep…ISIS 2.0 from emerging, the Iraqi government is going to have to do something pretty significantly different,” he said.
“They’re going to have to reach out and reconcile with the Sunni population, and make them feel like their government in Baghdad represents them.”
IS, a Sunni Islamist group regards the Iraq’s Shia Muslim majority as heretics.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has formally declared victory over IS in Mosul, after a nearly nine-month battle that left large areas in ruins, killed thousands of civilians and displaced more than 920,000 others.
Iraqi army officers believed only a few dozen militants were left inside along with their wives and children, who they said were being used as human shields.Please subscribe to our newsletter