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Iraqi Leader Vows To Defeat IS By End Of 2016

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed to defeat the Islamic State militant group in the country this year.

"We intend this year to make it the final year and the last year for the existence of Daesh in Iraq," Abadi told a security conference in Munich on February 12, using the Arabic term for the militant group.

Abadi said government forces have won back half of the territory previously under the control of the militants.

"The area we have liberated so far is more than half of what was occupied by Daesh before," he said.

His comments came as hundreds of Iraqi soldiers arrived at a northern base to prepare for operations to retake the city of Mosul from IS militants.

In an interview with the German news agency dpa on February 12 in Berlin, Abadi said the Iraqi military will likely launch a full campaign next month to regain Mosul, IS's de facto capital in the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AFP