Iraq celebrates victory over IS militants with military parade in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, July 15 (Xinhua) — Iraq’s military on Saturday paraded in Baghdad Green Zone to celebrate the landmark victory over the Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul, the Iraqi government said.

The parade was held in early morning at the Celebrations Square in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the main government offices and foreign embassies, a brief statement by the office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on its website.

The parade was attended by Abadi, who is the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, and top officers from the ministries of defense and interior, as well as leaders of the government-backed paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units, the statement said.

According to a security source, the parade was held in the morning hours to avoid the scorching weather of Iraq’s summer as temperatures could reach to 50 degrees Celsius at midday.

Most of the local and international media were not invited to cover the parade for security reasons, the source anonymously told Xinhua.

This came after Abadi on July 10 formally declared Mosul liberated from IS after nearly nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq.

Source: Fresh News – Iraq celebrates victory over IS militants with military parade in Baghdad