The Iraqi forces have seized the last remaining strongholds of Islamic State (IS) in Fallujah after five weeks of fighting.
“We convey the good news to the Iraqi people that the battle of Fallujah is over,” Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab Al-Saidi told state run TV.
Iraqi forces broke through downtown Fallujah and retook the city’s municipality building from IS militia last week with the support of US forces.
The Iraqi army said in a statement that the police had raised the Iraqi flag over the building. At the time, US defence minister Ash Carter confirmed that the Iraqi army seized a portion of the city but added that “there’s still some fighting to be done”.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi announced that the army had claimed victory over IS one week ago, but the fight would continue in order to secure the success.
Addressing Fallujah’s citizens, Al-Abadi said, “We want to bring peace and stability to the city, and our goal is to save you and save all Iraqis.”
The Iraqi army initiated the operation to liberate the city on 23 May with assistance from an international coalition provided via air cover.
IS took control of the city in January 2014, and at the same time controlled a wide area of northern Iraq, declaring it a caliphate along with land it had seized in Syria.
Fallujah is the second largest city under IS control following Mosul.
Al-Abadi hopes to restore Mosul later this year in a wide-scale effort to undermine the terrorist organisation.
Al-Abadi launched this operation after a series of bomb attacks in the capital Baghdad killed 150 in the worst series of attacks in 2016.