TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iraqi Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki expressed his gratitude to Iran for its massive supports for the Arab country in the fight against Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group and its major role in the recent liberation of the northern city of Mosul from the militants.

In a message on Monday, Maliki, a former prime minister, offered congratulations over the full liberation of Mosul from Daesh terrorists and thanked all those nations that sided with the Iraqi people and government in the anti-terror campaign.

“Among all those who rushed to help Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran should be thanked first, which came to the aid of Iraq with all its might,” he said, adding that Iranian advisers’ blood has been shed in battlefields against terrorists like their Iraqi brothers’.

He further praised top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali al-Sistani for his “historic” fatwa (religious order) to fight against Daesh and said the Shiite leader deserves to receive the first message of congratulation for the liberation of Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi traveled to Mosul on Sunday to declare its complete liberation some three years after the strategic city fell to Daesh terrorists.

Residents of Mosul poured to the streets on Sunday, dancing and celebrating, honking horns, playing national music, raising Iraqi flags and spraying water on each other.

After eight months of difficult urban warfare, Iraqi military forces on June 29 captured the Mosul mosque at the heart of the strategic northern city, which Daesh had declared its de facto capital.

The recapture of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers north of Baghdad, marks the effective end of Daesh in the Arab country.

Daesh stronghold in Syria’s Raqqa is also close to falling.

Daesh militants made swift advances in northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing swaths of northern Syria.

Afterwards, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after Ayatollah Sistani issued a fatwa calling for the fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive and forced the terrorist group withdraw from much of the areas it had occupied.