ISIS has been militarily defeated in Iraq and Syria

  • The leaders of Iraq and Iran both declared the terrorist group ISIS defeated militarily in Iraq and Syria.
  • Iraqis and Syrians, with assistance from the US and other regional militias, took their countries back from the terror group that declared its sovereign territory in the summer of 2014.
  • ISIS still has territory in countries around the world but has been brutally disrupted by a US-backed bombing campaign and advancing ground forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Hadir Al-Abadi declared military victory over the Islamic State in Iraq on Tuesday, just hours after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iranian-backed forces had driven the terror group out of Syria.

ISIS's last Iraqi town of Rawa fell on Friday, and Abadi only awaits the clearing of a patch of desert along Iraq's border with Syria to declare final victory. Iran posted pictures of one its most famous military leaders in a Syrian border town, indicating Iranian-backed forces had driven the terror group out of the country.

RELATED: The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS

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The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS
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The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS
A still image taken from an Islamic State (IS) video released through the group's Amaq news agency shows an unidentified militant addressing the camera. Video said to be shot in Mosul, Iraq, on October 18. 2016. REUTERS/Reuters TV via Amaq news agency TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Iraqi army members stand with thier weapons in Qayyarah, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Iraqi security forces gesture in Qayyarah, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
A still image taken from an Islamic State (IS) video released through the group's Amaq news agency claims to show militants patrolling the streets of Mosul. Video said to be shot in Mosul, Iraq, on October 18. 2016. REUTERS/Reuters TV via Amaq news agency
Members of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) gather on the outskirts of Bartila east of Mosul during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
An aviation ordnanceman inspects a bomb on an F/A-18E Super Hornet just before take-off for Mosul, Iraq to provide air-support from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69 carrier in Arabia Gulf, October 18, 2016. Picture taken October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
A member of the Peshmerga forces inspects homes on the outskirts of Bartila, east of Mosul, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces stand around a tunnel used by Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Bartila, east of Mosul during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Iraqi army personnel ride on a military vehicle in Qayyarah, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Smoke rises from a bomb taken through the window of a military vehicle in Qayyarah during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
An F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off for Mosul, Iraq to provide air-support from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69 carrier in Arabia Gulf, October 18, 2016. Picture taken October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
A U.S army soldier stands with his weapon at a military base in the Makhmour area near Mosul during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
U.S army soldiers arrive at a military base in the Makhmour area near Mosul during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Peshmerga forces sit in the back of a vehicle in the east of Mosul during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
Christian volunteers, who have joined the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, take part in a training at a training base in the town of Alqosh, 50 km (30 miles) from Mosul, Iraq, October 11, 2016. Picture taken October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
Peshmerga forces walk in the east of Mosul during operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Smoke rises from clashes at Bartila in the east of Mosul during clashes with Islamic State militants, Iraq, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
Peshmerga forces advance in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Smoke rises from clashes in the east of Mosul during clashes with Islamic State militants, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces advance in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces gather on the east of Mosul during preparations to attack Mosul, Iraq, October 16, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Peshmerga forces with western forces advance in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Smoke rises from clashes in the east of Mosul during clashes with Islamic State militants, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
A member from western forces stands with his weapon in the east of Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces gather in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces gather in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Peshmerga forces gather in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
A member of Peshmerga forces stands on a military vehicle in the east of Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces gather on the east of Mosul during preparations to attack Mosul, Iraq, October 16, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces gather in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces gather on the east of Mosul during preparations to attack Mosul, Iraq, early October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces advance in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Smoke rises from clashes in the east of Mosul during clashes with Islamic State militants, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Peshmerga forces advance in the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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Combine, the two statements from the two leaders amount to long-awaited news: ISIS's territory in Iraq and Syria is gone; the terror group has been defeated.

Iraqi, Kurdish, Syrian, Iranian, Afghani, Lebanese, and scores of other fighters gave their lives over more than three years since ISIS declared its caliphate, or sovereign territory, to be ruled under a brutal interpretation of Islam in the summer of 2014.

Business Insider

The rise and fall of ISIS

Initially, ISIS swept up large swaths of Iraq and neighboring Syria with a surprising military prowess and a potent brand of Sunni extremism, but on Tuesday those nations officially reclaimed their territory.

The US and 67 other nations from around the world formed a coalition to train, equip, and provide air support for the regional forces that confronted ISIS, mostly in Iraq. The US also supported Syrian forces fighting to defeat ISIS. Russia stepped in in late 2015 to provide air support for the Syrian government and allied Iranian militias, mainly backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad against rebels threatening his rule, but also targeting some ISIS territory.

At its height, ISIS launched international terror attacks in Paris, London, Brussels, and across Asia. But its capability for carrying out such attacks has been hamstrung by the relentless assault on its home territory.

RELATED: People return to Afghanistan city liberated from ISIS

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People return to Afghanistan city liberated from ISIS
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People return to Afghanistan city liberated from ISIS
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Men pose for a portrait outside a shop on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Children of families displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -Khorasan (ISIS-K) play at their current home on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. The families moved ten months ago from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A man has his haircut in a barber shop on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Children play with a wheel barrow on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A boy walks through buildings damaged from fighting on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A member of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) poses for a portrait at his outpost on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Children of families displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -Khorasan (ISIS-K) play at their current home on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. The families moved ten months ago from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Anwar Pachir, whose family was displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) walks through a storm outside his current home on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. Pachir brough his family ten months ago from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Children who were displaced by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) stand outside their current home during a storm on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. Families arrived from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Men restock a pharmacy which had been closed for two years on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A boy rides his bike past a destroyed car on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A man sells tomatos on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Men walk past buildings damaged from fighting on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A man prays inside a building damaged from fighting on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
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"If we can keep them declining and moving they have less time to sit and prepare," for attacks, Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, said of terror groups in London last month.

In the span of just three years, ISIS went from attracting thousands of foreign fighters to its anti-Western cause and plotting devastating terror attacks all over the world, to surrendering en masse in their own territory.

Benoit Tessier/Retuers

Threat from ISIS remains

But ISIS still controls territory in as many as a dozen other nations, as Libya, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and much of Africa battle their own ISIS cells or ISIS-linked terror groups. 

The threat of ISIS remains far from over. Beside the many ISIS cells around the world — as well as ISIS' continued online presence — fighters from the terror group spread around the region and have threatened to return.

In the late days of the US-backed assault on Raqqa, ISIS' Syrian capital, forces partnered with the US allowed thousands of ISIS fighters to flee the city with weapons and ammunition. The fighters, many of them foreign-born, swore to smuggle themselves across borders and commit terror attacks around the world. 

Meanwhile, neither Iraq or Syria can count themselves as whole even with the territory reclaimed. In Iraq, the Kurdish minority in the country's northeast voted to break away from Iraq. In Syria, the six-year long civil war continues with only a shaky vision of an end in sight.

Additionally, the preoccupation of the Syrian military with fighting its civil war in the western part of the country left a vacuum for Iranian forces to move in and fight ISIS in the east. It's likely an ISIS-free Syria will feature more Iranian influence, which will unsettle Tehran's regional rivals in Israel and Saudi Arabia.

RELATED: FBI translator married an ISIS terrorist

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FBI translator married an ISIS terrorist
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FBI translator married an ISIS terrorist
Picture taken on May 5, 2012 shows former German rapper Denis Cuspert (C) among salafi in Bonn, Germany. Denis Mamadou Cuspert, who rapped under the name Deso Dogg but took on the name Abu Talha al-Almani in Syria, was initially reported to have been killed in a suicide attack Sunday in an eastern province but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. AFP PHOTO /DPA/ HENNING KAISER GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read HENNING KAISER/AFP/Getty Images)
(Image via YouTube)
(Screenshot via Twitter)

Excerpts from the case files against Daniela Greene. 

(Via the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security)

Excerpts from the case files against Daniela Greene. 

(Via the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security)

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