The Iraqi prime minister says 2016 is the year when Isis 'will be defeated'

Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi has declared that Isis will be defeated in 2016 by his country's army, following the force's first major victory since the terror group seized swathes of terrority in the summer of 2014.

Prime Minister al-Abadi said in a speech, broadcast on state television:

2016 will be the year of the big and final victory, when Daesh's presence in Iraq will be terminated.

We are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh.

Iraqi soldiers flew the national flag above the main government complex in Ramadi early on 28 December, declaring they had recaptured the city, a provincial capital west of Baghdad that fell to Isis fighters in May. Its capture marks a major milestone for the US-trained Iraqi force.

US Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for a US-led coalition backing Iraqi forces, said in a statement:

The clearance of the government centre is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work.

The White House said in a statement:

The continued progress of the Iraqi Security Forces in the fight to retake Ramadi is a testament to their courage and determination, and our shared commitment to push Isil out of its safe-havens

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