Trump says US 'will continue to seek the total destruction of ISIS'
President Donald Trump on Monday congratulated Iraq and its prime minister for their "victory over terrorists who are the enemies of all civilized people" after Iraq declared victory over Daesh in its former Iraqi capital.
"We mourn the thousands of Iraqis brutally killed by ISIS and the millions of Iraqis who suffered at the hands of ISIS," the American president said in a statement, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Daesh.
"We in the United States and the Global Coalition are proud to stand with the Iraqi Security Forces and all those who made this moment of liberation possible," Trump added.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared victory against Daesh in the bitterly contested city earlier Monday.
"I announce victory from the heart of Mosul. I announce the collapse of the state of falsehood Daesh had declared in Mosul," al-Abadi said
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, had since last October been battling to dislodge Daesh from Mosul, the terrorist group’s last stronghold in northern Iraq.
The city was captured by Daesh along with vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq in 2014.
In his statement, Trump claimed the U.S.-led anti-Daesh effort has seen more progress in the six months since he assumed office than "in the years since ISIS became a major threat.
"The victory in Mosul, a city where ISIS once proclaimed its so-called 'caliphate,' signals that its days in Iraq and Syria are numbered," Trump said. "We will continue to seek the total destruction of ISIS."
The proclamation comes as the U.S.-led coalition is currently supporting Syrian forces seeking to defeat Daesh in its other twin capital, Syria's Raqqah, where U.S. officials have warned of a grueling and long campaign.