The President of Iran Hassan Rouhani has declared the end of the so-called Islamic State live on TV today.
President Rouhani and a high-ranking official from the Iranian military made the announcement in a broadcast made live on state TV, according to the Daily Mail.
President Rouhani said:
Today with God’s guidance and the resistance of people in the region we can say that this evil has either been lifted from the head of the people or has been reduced.
Of course the remnants will continue but the foundation and roots have been destroyed.
Senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Major General Qassem Soleimani declared the end of ISIS after a series of successful military operations against the extremist group.
In recent weeks, Soleimani has led attacks in locations across the region to reduce IS influence in the area.
Soleimani has announced that the final territory in Syria held by IS, Albu Kamal, has been taken back under state control.
There has been a concerted effort across Syria, Iran and Iraq to diminish IS control over the area, including the Iraqi capture of the border town of Rawa, which apparently signalled the end of the caliphate which was ‘established’ in 2014.
IS is now expected to go underground and start using guerrilla tactics in its warfare, including more bombings.
In his speech, Rouhani accused the US and Israel for their complicit support of Islamic State, and criticised Arab nations for their silence over civilian deaths in the ongoing Yemen crisis.
He is expected to meet with the presidents of Russia and Turkey tomorrow to help expedite the peace process in Syria and beyond.
The meeting will be the first between the three nations in the wake of the turmoil in the region which has caused 330,000 deaths and left millions homeless.
A Russian political analyst told AFP:
The open-war phase in Syria will soon be over and the question of a political solution will become more pressing than before.
Russia, Iran and Turkey each have their own interest in Syria. It is clear that they also have disagreements. And they are meeting to try to smooth over these disagreements.
Despite the meeting, Turkey is officially on the opposing side of the Syria conflict to Iran and Russia, who support President Bashar al-Assad.
The Revolutionary Guards, who have been integral to the success of the prolonged conflict, were last month subjected to economic sanctions by the US Treasury under the instruction of President Donald Trump because they argue the Guards are attempting to destabilise the region.
The future of ISIS is less than certain. UNILAD spoke to Dr Rizwaan Sabir, a lecturer in criminology who specialises in counter-terrorism to get to the bottom of the matter.
[ISIS] aren’t defeated – and the reason why is that an armed militant group doesn’t require territory to operate.
The best case-study of that is al-Qaeda who spread throughout the world. ISIL holding territory in Iraq and Syria is actually an exception, there’s nothing in the rule book that says they need territory to operate.
I’ll speculatively say that they might engage in more armed activities… Whether five or 10 attacks occur depends entirely on geopolitical factors.
But what we do have to consider [is] that it might be more attractive for the group to attack places where they know the media will react.
We all know the attacks in Manchester and Westminster get coverage, but the attacks in the east don’t get mentioned in Western media.
No matter the future, many eyes are on the upcoming discussions between the three nations in the coming days.