TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated liberation of the district of al-Qaim, one of the last remaining territories in the country held by Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) militants.

In the congratulatory statement released late on Friday, Abadi praised the Iraqi security forces for liberating the district “in record time”.

Units from the Iraqi army, Counter-Terrorism Services, Sunni tribal and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi entered the area on Friday morning.

The Iraqi prime minister announced on last Thursday (October 26) the launch of operations to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns.

The Iraqi forces have now driven Daesh forces out of about 95% of the land the terrorist group once held in Iraq and freed more than 4.4 million Iraqis from its rule.

Al-Qaim, about 315 km (195 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Rawa and the nearby Syrian border town of Albu Kamal are of strategic importance to Daesh as the group used routes through them to transfer fighters, weapons and goods.

An estimated 50,000 people are still living in al-Qaim and Rawa, according to the United Nations, while 63,500 have fled since January – mostly children, women and older people.