USA created ISIS, now claiming victory over ISIS
“Yes, they supported us with aviation, but the main credit goes to the Iraqi soldiers, people’s militia, Iraqi air force“. Al-Maliki stated this in his interview with the Russian news agency.
He added that he “regrets and denies [Americans] claiming the victory [in Mosul] is their achievement.”
“In reality, this is the victory of the Iraqi army“. Al-Maliki revealed that the victory over ISIS came a high cost, as some 20,000 Iraqi soldiers and police officers were either killed or wounded.
The Iraqi military did everything possible “not to destroy the city more than it was necessary in the circumstances of war“. Al-Maliki added that as a result, the battle with ISIS for Mosul lasted for nine months.
“We could have surrounded the city, but then its residents would have suffered from famine.”
There were some 5,000 ISIS terrorists in Iraq, with between 2,000 and 3,000 of them having been killed. Others are still hiding or have fled with the refugees, according to the Iraqi vice-president.
“The victory is yet not final,” the top Iraqi official said. He explained that there are “still small terrorist hubs in the city,” as well as terrorist “sleeper cells” across the country.
“There are sleeper cells in Baghdad, from time to time they take action and perform bombings… That’s not worrying in a military sense. Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] is unable to advance or capture territories. They will not be able to hold the occupied regions, but from the security point of view there are still sleeper cells and lone wolves, used by IS,” al-Maliki said.
While the US has provided support to the Iraqi army and allied forces, it contributed to the emergence of ISIS in the first place, claimed Al-Maliki. He added that Washington is now seeking to establish military bases on Iraqi territory in order to maintain influence in the region.