(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Senior Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi praised the recent victory of Iraqi forces over the ISIS terrorist group, saying the “collapse of ISIS” is a lesson to those daydreaming about Muslim countries’ disintegration.
In a message released on Tuesday, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi offered his congratulations over the recent recapture of Iraq’s northern city of Mosul from ISIS terrorists.
“The humiliating collapse of the self-proclaimed state of ISIS is a lesson to all of those who entertain evil thoughts about the Muslim world and mobilize mercenaries from around the world to disintegrate Islamic countries,” the cleric said.
He also highlighted the major role of the Shiite leadership in Iraq’s recent victories and said the 2014 fatwa (religious order) to establish Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, changed the destiny of the ISIS terrorist group with the cooperation of Iraqi armed forces.
ISIS militants made swift advances in northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing swaths of northern Syria.
However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for the fight against the militants, blunted the edge of ISIS offensive and forced the terrorist group to withdraw from much of the areas it had occupied.
Iraqi military forces on Thursday captured the Mosul mosque at the heart of the northern city, which ISIS had declared its de facto capital.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of the site of the symbolic al-Nuri Mosque in Old Mosul as “the declaration of the end of the statelet of ISIS.”
Iraqi authorities expect the long battle for Mosul to end in coming days as remaining ISIS militants are bottled up in just a handful of neighborhoods of the Old City.
ISIS stronghold in Syria’s Raqqa is also close to falling.