Britain congratulates Iraq on retaking IS-held city

London, Dec 29 (IANS) British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Monday congratulated the Iraqi government on the raising of the Iraqi flag in Ramadi, a city once held by the Islamic State (IS).

Iraqi security forces on Monday declared victory over the IS militant group in Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s western province of Anbar, Xinhua reported.

“This is the latest in a series of significant losses for the IS. These barbaric terrorists have lost 30 percent of the territory they once held in Iraq,” Hammond said Monday in a statement.

The foreign secretary said that IS has been driven out of cities across the country by Iraqi forces, with support from the international coalition.

“We will continue to support the Government of Iraq as it re-establishes the security, governance and services the people of Ramadi will need as they return to their city,” Hammond noted.

“This remains a long fight, but the Coalition’s strategy is succeeding. We will continue to stand with the Iraqi people until IS is defeated,” he added.

Britain has been carrying out airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq since September last year as part of a US-led international coalition.

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