Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL' terrorist group] will be completely defeated in Iraq this year, Iraqi state television quoted Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi as saying on Tuesday.
Daesh's cross-border so-called "caliphate" effectively collapsed in July, when US-backed Iraqi forces captured Mosul, the group's de facto capital in Iraq, after a nine-month battle.
The group's last territory in Iraq is now a stretch skirting the western border with Syria following the fall of the town of Hawija and surrounding areas on Oct. 5 in an offensive by US-backed Iraqi forces.
Al-Abadi's remarks came as a Kurdish security official said hundreds of suspected Daesh militants surrendered last week to Kurdish authorities after the extremist group was driven out of its last stronghold in northern Iraq.
The suspects were part of a group of men who fled toward Kurdish-held lines when Iraqi government forces captured the Daesh base in Hawija, the official said.
The report of the Daesh terrorists fleeing, rather than fighting to the finish as in previous battles, suggested their morale may be fading, according to Hisham Al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based expert on Daesh affairs.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team