The White House took a subtle jab at the Obama administration’s handling of Islamic State forces in a statement released Monday.
“We have made tremendous progress against ISIS — more in the past 6 months than in the years since ISIS became a major threat,” a White House statement read.
The statement follows Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declaring victory in light of the recent gains made against the Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
“I announce from here the end and the failure and the collapse of the terrorist state of falsehood and terrorism which the terrorist Daesh announced from Mosul,” said al-Abadi in a speech.
Around 100,000 troops comprised of the Iraqi government, Kurdish Peshmerga units, and Shi’ite militias launched a campaign to liberate the city in October, according to Reuters. US forces, including air and artillery assets, were also used to aid the coalition to drive out ISIS from Mosul and neighbouring Syria.
President Donald Trump has long been a vocal critic of his predecessor, Barack Obama, on dealing with ISIS, at one point evencalling him the “founder” and “most valuable player” for the terrorist organisation.
“ISIS is advancing even against Obama’s airstrikes. Obama is disengaged and making the Middle East even more dangerous,” tweeted Trump in 2014.
Here’s the full statement:
Today, Iraqi Security Forces, supported by the United States and the Global Coalition, liberated the city of Mosul from its long nightmare under the rule of ISIS. We congratulate Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi Security Forces, and all Iraqis for their victory over terrorists who are the enemies of all civilized people.
We mourn the thousands of Iraqis brutally killed by ISIS and the millions of Iraqis who suffered at the hands of ISIS. We grieve with the Iraqi people for the loss of the heroic soldiers and Peshmerga who gave their lives to restore life to their country, and we honour their sacrifice. 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.
We have made tremendous progress against ISIS — more in the past 6 months 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. We will continue to seek the total destruction of ISIS.
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