Iraq Claims Victory Over IS in Nimrud

Iraq Claims Victory Over IS in NimrudIraq Claims Victory Over IS in Nimrud

An ancient city known for its Assyrian relics has been liberated from the militant group, the Iraqi army has said.

In 2015, the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group destroyed several antiquities in what UNESCO said amounted to a "war crime".

Iraqi forces on Sunday recaptured the ancient city of Nimrud, marking another success in a campaign to uproot the IS militant group, said Iraq's Joint Operations Command.

"Troops of the 9th Armored Brigade have fully liberated Nimrud and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings," said Abdul Amir Rasheed, commander of the government campaign in Mosul, DPA reported.

"The troops have inflicted casualties and hardware losses on the enemy," he added without providing further details of the operation.

However, several army officers told news agencies that Iraqi forces were still in the process of hunting down IS fighters and defusing explosives in the area.

The militant group had captured the ancient city in 2014 during a violent campaign in which it gained control of large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

In 2015, IS circulated a video online showing its fighters destroying antiquities and artifacts with sledgehammers and explosives.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization called the militant group's actions a "war crime."

Last month, Iraqi forces launched a campaign to reclaim the city of Mosul, where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had announced the creation of a so-called "caliphate." Backed by Kurdish peshmerga and Shia militias, Iraqi forces have made significant gains in pushing the militant group out of Iraq's third-largest city.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints